Begin in the Future

Despite best intensions, strategic planning exercises sometimes fizzle out without producing desired results, leaving participants disillusioned and reluctant to re-engage…or worse.

Sound familiar?

Fortunately, there is a better way.

This section describes a different kind of strategic planning - one which begins in the future, includes the setting of outrageous goals, and is characterized by different terminology

For example, a description of an organization’s future reality, might read:

  • the organization's new being is a fully integrated, highly recognized and respected organization, representing the interests of all its members.

And a description of the strategic outcomes of that future reality might read:

  • the leadership team becomes complete with its past as it was known it to be, honouring all that has been accomplished, with respect and dignity; 
  • the leadership team transforms itself into a newly integrated, high performance team which develops guiding principles and practices, demonstrating unprecedented abilities for teamwork, communications, management, and planning; 
  • this newly integrated leadership team shifts from a reactive, fly by the seat of its pants culture, to being a well orchestrated and managed team, employing the competence, excellence and mastery of all team members; 
  • the newly integrated leadership team develops a 5-year actionable, dynamic strategic plan, formulated collectively, communicated powerfully, demonstrating implementation day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year; 
  • the newly integrated leadership team restores the relationship with its constituencies in such a way that new conversations for possibilities, opportunities and action emerge; 
  • the newly integrated leadership team designs and *enrolls its entire constituency into its new beginning and its organizational culture, committing to complete integration, collaboration and co-operation, effectively creating a forward-thinking network of conversations;

* enrollment is defined as generating a possibility in another person’s listening, such that the other person, group, team, or organization takes action consistent with that possibility

Notice, the approach starts in the future - at the end point - and works backward to the present.

Using this different methodology, the newly integrated leadership team creates the organization’s strategic future, transports itself there, and documents the action plan that got it there.