The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three subcategories which together open up FUTURE POSSIBILITIES. These are Future orientation, Empowerment and Decisiveness. This post will focus on Future orientation.
“Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams. Much more is required to bring it to reality; but the dream must be there first.” Robert Greenleaf
Future Orientation turns our faces away from the past and towards the future. In this way we are prevented from habitually dwelling in the past and this in turn enables us to see new innovative solutions and approaches.
When we are able to shift our focus, from problem diagnose to how to best improve a situation, we create a new pathway into our future.
In other words, as much as we need to individually and collectively look at a particular situation “as it is” in order to understand what has led to a current state of affairs, we also need to be able to go beyond diagnose, beyond problem-analysis and beyond mere extending the past into the future. Small or big, almost every problem has a solution. We turn towards the future by setting goals and creating a vision. This applies both to personal and professional initiatives. Starting with the end in mind and noting down our vision of the future helps the mind to focus.
At the same time, even the strongest vision needs to give life a chance to be spontaneously creative. Therefore, we need to create a delicate balance between clear goals and openness to emerging opportunities. If the goal is too fixed, we tend to overlook opportunities. If the goal is too vague, we get lost in the complexity of myriad options.
Here are a few questions that help us to tune into Future orientation:
- How do I explain to my best friend my biggest dream?
- How does the vision of my organization revive the passion of the people working there?
- In what way are partners in my sustainability initiative emotionally engaged with the goal?
This blog post looks at the dimension of FUTURE POSSIBILITIES and zooms into FUTURE ORIENTATION in the Collective Leadership Compass. For more information on the Art of Leading Collectively, checkout the inside the book and reviews on amazon.com, or get inspired by an onsite course that takes the compass into the daily challenges of navigating complex change.