1) We review and question our assumptions. We start by questioning our beliefs about our business, our work and our future: what do we assume about ‘how things work’, what is the foundation of what we do, why and how do we do it?
2) We embark on a mission to find, explore and experience what Gerd calls the ‘hard (i.e. definitive) futures’. We travel into the future 5-7 years out, and then look back to today, defining the key changes that are certain to happen. We work on how to embrace and deal with the ‘future shock’ (see Alvin Toffler). This process culminates in the discussion of two key questions: a) which future do we believe is the most likely to actually happen? b) which future would we like to see happen, i.e. which scenario is our favourite choice, our preferred future?
3) We discuss impact, challenges and opportunities. We define the likely consequences (both positive and negative) of the ‘hard futures’ that we have discovered. If and when the above scenarios actually take place, what will they mean for us? How could we shape these futures to make our flourishing more likely? What existential threats to our organization can we identify, and what awesome and exciting opportunities do we see?
4) Clarify our vision of the future, and start the strategy design process: what does our preferred future look like, in more details, and how realisable is it? Now that we have immersed ourselves in what our future is likely to look like, and now that we have started to understand the impact on what we do today…what would we like to see happen? Which future can we get really excited about, which future fits our culture, people, and the society around us? Where do we see a purpose and vision that would get our juices flowing? Who will we be in 5-7 years, and what will our brand look like?
5) Formulate action items: how will we create our preferred future? Who is in charge? What skills and mindsets do we need, what kind of people need to be brought in, where do we need to invest, what will we need from our leaders, how will we get buy-in from our teams and what kinds of resources do we need? What and how do we prioritize? Who will lead these initiatives?