My questions for 2016

  • Top view of male hand writing 2016 sign with a yellow light bulbWhat might it mean for us to become more “future smart”?
  • How might we gain a deeper understanding of the qualities and attributes we need to develop to be capable of dealing with the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow?
  • What fresh perspectives emerge when we use the lens of the future to look at personal development, leadership development, career development, life planning?
  • How might the insights we gain from exploring these questions affect how we develop ourselves to be able to thrive in the future that is racing towards us ever faster?

At the start of a new year the idea of the future tends to come a bit more sharply into view. We wonder what the year will bring. Newspapers publish both prognostications and horoscopes for the year ahead. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, in an attempt to shape the direction of the year ahead.

My own commitment for the year ahead is to engage in a more focused and disciplined way with a set of questions related to the future that has been intriguing me on-and off for the past few years. The big central question: What might we have to learn and cultivate in ourselves so that we are able to thrive in the world of tomorrow?

What makes this a relevant and worthwhile question is the accelerating pace of change, the increasing complexity and large degree of uncertainty in the world we find ourselves in. One clear implication of this is that the rate of learning, growth, and adaption required of us is also accelerating. The required learning and adaptation that is part of the normal life path is now being amplified and accelerated by the need to continuously “catch up” to a future that is coming at us ever faster and faster.

There is a great deal of conversation about the future of organizations, business, and society, and of the various trends and forces shaping this future. What is getting far less attention is the impact of all of this on individuals.

What does this all mean for me, for you, for us? What do we need to look out for? What could we do to enhance our ability to thrive in the ever fluid tomorrow shaping around us? How can we engage with questions about how our changing world will impact us not from a fear-based perspective, but from a possibility perspective?

Human beings are amazingly resilient and adaptive, and I am fairly confident that many of us will be up for the challenge. However, I also see in my professional and personal circles how the complexity, pace of change and uncertainty exerts a toll on people. Not everyone is coping, and not everyone is equally confident in their ability to thrive in the future.

My sense is that “learning and growth as usual” may not get us ready for the future hurtling towards us – that we may need to become smarter and more intentional about learning and developing ourselves if we are to thrive tomorrow.

So my question for 2016 is really about what we might be able to do to increase our chances of success as we grow ourselves into the demands and opportunities of tomorrow. During the year ahead I want to take my “future smart” question as a lens to read through, to have conversations about, to think about, and to play with. I am curious to see what will emerge from this exploration and investigation, and how that might translate into practical insight that might help us grow ourselves as more “future smart” people. If you’re interested to learn along with me as I work on this personal project, drop me a note! I’d love to expand the conversation.

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