Default/Invented Future Workshop

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare via email

Where is your company headed? Do you like where it’s going?

Every practice, line of business, team, and individual has a “default future,” which exists at the gut level, and is rarely, if ever, discussed, so it operates below people’s awareness. It answers the question:

"What is likely to happen if nothing unexpected comes along?"

Without thinking, people’s actions fall in line with the default future, so that it creates an invisible self-fulfilling cycle. Any change efforts will be overpowered by the default future, unless it is discovered, articulated, and evaluated.

Once the default future is identified, leaders then have two choices. They can either do nothing, in which case the default future will turn into reality, likely creating a Stage Two/Stage Three culture with people working hard but being prone to burnout. Also, the team will not maximize its potential impact and desired results.

The other choice is to come together with passion and resolve to “rewrite” the default future, creating what leadership expert Warren Bennis calls “an invented future.” Dr. Bennis was the editor of the book that popularized this concept, The Three Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan.

The invented future taps into people’s aspirations and passions, as well as their market knowledge. It starts out general and is based on values. Once established, the immediate challenge is to create short-term initiatives that bring the invented future into focus and action. The participants will turn these short-term initiatives into micro strategies; 30, 60 and 90 day action plans focused on delivering fast, targeted results.

Unlike traditional approaches to strategy, which often span three to five years and is based on extensive market analysis, a micro strategy is a burst of focused action toward a specific result aimed at turning the company’s trajectory from the default future to the invented future. Each micro strategy is based on shared values, identified in this facilitated session. The mechanics of a micro strategy follow military planning, and were adjusted for the business world in Tribal Leadership, written by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright. The term “micro strategies” was introduced in a 2009 article by Dave Logan and Halee Fischer-Wright in Leader to Leader magazine.

As a group successfully executes a micro strategy, three benefits occur: (1) an important business result is obtained, (2) the default future loses its grip on the practice and the invented future seems achievable, (3) the culture of the practice becomes more integrated and higher performing (and moves to Stage Four).

We recommend this one-day process/workshop for intact teams of any size.

For more information, please contact Carrie Kish.

    No Twitter Messages