How to build your desired future

How you think about the future determines which future you end up getting.

The future belongs to those that can think about it in a useful way.

We need constructive critical thinking about the future.

Choose a future:
Choose to change.
Expect chaos.
Seek information.
Select a desired future
Build the desired future.

Choosing your Future

It's our experience that:

We must
(1) think constructively about change and about the future
so that we can
(2) make conscious choices to prosper in that future
and then act in such a way that
(3) the best possible future is more likely to becomes ours
without resorting to
(4) bullshit / rah-rah / positive thinking (or "New Thought")

Yes, the impact of luck (good luck / bad luck) is always there. We cannot control everything (or even control 'much'). But, all of us have have talents and abilities that help us to have an impact on the future. We are able control our destinies beyond the vagaries of luck.

Step 1: Choose to Change

We can choose to maintain the status quo. And we may be very tempted to do so if our current situation is a good one. But, the undeniable reality of continuous change around us is that such an approach will probably be a bad strategy.

If there is continuous change around you, you should (almost certainly) choose a change-friendly strategy.

Step 2: Understand that there will be Chaos

We live in a world that is mathematically-described chaotic.
(See David Sumpter's Oxford University Mathematics lecture - at around 39 minutes).

In business scenarios the fires of chaos are further fanned by pervasive irrational human behaviour.

And, when there is chaos, thinking about the future is incredibly difficult. We need to think critically, in a useful way, and we need information to help us do so.

Step 3: Acknowledge the need for Information

We do not all have the same amounts of 'good' information. Most of us have very little - or not enough - information. Thus we often doubt (or don't foresee) outcomes (such as global warming) which are overwhelmingly likely to manifest.

Similarly, we don't foresee that which may become a reality in our industry - or we wrongly doubt that such outcomes are likely.

The absence of enough good information is often a root cause of a bad strategy.

Step 4: Get Information

So, get that information and get it from the right source. It is, for example, more difficult to get good financial advice from a bank. The bank's employees must sell the bank's products. And those employees often believe the hype that they sell.

Similarly, you must ask yourself if your information provider has to sell the packaged wisdom of their organisation and whether that organisation will be a significant beneficiary after the sale.

Conversely, good futurists help you in at least two ways:

Firstly they professionally and systematically find possible, probable and preferable futures and then provide you with the information and facts that you need. And they maintain independence.

Then, (when they do so) it helps you to imagine those possible futures and it helps you to prepare for such futures. You can then create a strategy to reduce risks and (even more importantly) to maximise benefits.

Step 5: Choose a desired Future

In the very small part of the universe where we live, human beings (a) are part of the chaotic ecosystem and (b) often have an outsized impact on this ecosystem. That's, inter alia, what the term Anthropocene Epoch refers to.

And, in that ecosystem, we humans are not all equal. Some of us are positioned to have a higher likelihood of having a bigger impact than others may have. We are able to have a bigger impact when we are Venture Capitalists and we can fund ventures to success. And we are able to have a bigger impact when we are leaders in organisations that are able to fund themselves to success.

This means that, corporates who desire to do so and decide to do so can build the future. Rather than waiting to see what the future will be, these organisations can be part of deciding what the future will be. They create the future. The future becomes the future that they envisaged. They can act. They don't have to react. They can be on the front foot. They don't have to be on the back foot.

Step 6: Build a desired Future

The 5 steps covered above are very briefly covered in our book. Why briefly? Well, the assumption was that those who would be interested in the fundamental approaches that led to Sixty60's outperformance, would have a natural inclination towards steps 1 to 5. Yet, we find that this is not always the case.

Firstly, the leaders of some organisations have to be pursuaded of the necessity for these 5 steps. Current successes often make us believe that we can continue to do as we do. We are doing okay now, so we will continue to do okay.

Secondly, a large percentage of the staff in any organisation will never be persuaded of this necessity.

How to Build a Desired Future

So, if we are fine with the first 5 steps (as we damn-well should be), then we are back at the question in Step 6: How you can build a desired future?

The good news is that few organisations will be unable to build a desired future when the correct approaches are followed.

The future truly belongs to those that can think about it in a useful way.