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The future creeps up on you
It wasn't so long ago that we were using 2023 as the future. Now week one of '23 is done.
Back in January 2020 we ran a series of futurestate workshops, based on one of our favourite formats; designing the company that put yours out of business.
The time horizon was three years. In a series of full-day workshops the teams designed the ‘future’ customer experience for ‘X’ - the company that had replaced them in market.
It was different in so many ways from how that company behaved at the time.
That work led to a major transformation and product innovation programme which has been running ever since. They’ve progressively become a version of the company they imagined and have left behind most of what was holding them back – retaining only what makes them distinctive. And they've done it despite the massive disruption of a global pandemic to contend with.
That three year futurestate vision felt a long way off to the people in those workshops. It allowed them to free up their thinking and focus their efforts on what was strategically important for the business they need to become.
Their competitors have been improving ever since of course, but they’re still miles ahead of them in both how they think and how they can execute new propositions – because they were brave enough to design what comes next and make it happen with a lot of hard work.
Imagine where they’d be now – 'in the future' – if they’d waited.
Making the future can start in a day. It can start to become real in weeks. For some, it may take years to fully realise. It doesn’t matter how big the challenge ahead is: the sooner you can see what that alternative future can be like, the sooner you can start to make it happen.
As we prepare for the latest incarnation of these workshops, I always look forward to seeing how exciting it is for people to design what they can become.
It's going to be fun envisioning 2026. And it'll be even more fun to make it happen now.
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