Many individuals and organizations look into the future – and make their plans to adapt to it. They allow their current circumstances and predictions of the future to determine their plans.
That’s one way to go and it is a very reasonable thing to do – as we are reminded by this quote from George Bernard Shaw:
“The reasonable person adapts themselves to the world. The unreasonable one persists in adapting the world to themselves. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable person.”
Rather than adapting to a future that you cannot even reasonably predict anyway, I suggest to individuals and organizations that they take a more aspirational approach and invent the future that inspires them. Then, look into the environment and work to shape circumstances toward your vision.
The “creating your future” approach is a more fulfilling option because “adapting to the future” always involves giving up (if not selling out) what you really care about for the future. Even if you try and fail in your efforts to shape circumstances toward your vision, it is more fulfilling because you are following your dreams.
This is one of the problems, by the way, of the popular process of “benchmarking.” Many organizations study what the “best in class” are doing and seek to replicate that. By doing that they are, at best, following behind the leaders. They are destined to be yesterday’s news.
A better approach is to “benchmark,” but use what you learn as springboard information from which you dream what you really want.
Our choices are clear. Adapt, follow, give up on our real dreams.
Or create the future we want and pursue it with vigor. Follow your hopes and dreams!