Talking about the future
Updated: Nov 4, 2021
The future ? The events of the last few years mean we're just less certain than we were.
I have found that people don't want to be seen as dodgy weather forecasters, stock market analysts or crystal ball gazers. But talking about your organization or work is not the same as predicting snow, Bitcoin's rise or when you will meet a dark stranger.
Business is all about making things happen so do you have to talk about an ( uncertain) future. Having no view is not an option if you want to have impact, build trust, or inspire confidence in your leadership.
That includes all these situations:
Pitching an Idea
Doing a Policy Briefing
Leading a Change
Inspiring People to show up for yet another weekly Zoom call
To have impact you have to have a strategic view. I've been using a old trick to get clients thinking. Rudyard Kipling is best known for The Jungle Book but he also wrote a poem that works wonders to get a strategic vibe going:
I Keep Six Honest Serving Men
I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.
Here's one way to use this when you're talking about what Mckinsey and others are calling The Next Normal.
What has changed ?
Why will this still be of value?
When do we expect things will change again ( including coming out of the pandemic)
How will we stay relevant to our market?
Where will we see recovery first?
Who are we as a organisation and who can we be?
Answer those questions and your future self - and everyone else - will thank you.