Saturday, January 4, 2014

Digital Journey: From Vision to Orientation

The only problem about the future is that it is usually here before we are ready for it. 

The roadmap is a commonly used tool to communicate long-term thinking effectively. Strategists, planners, and architects use road-maps to communicate their vision of strategic capabilities and competencies. From vision to orientation, it is a logical step for organizations to prepare for their digital journey.  

Have a "visionary" leadership team: Visionary could mean the ability to think outside the box, to think creatively, to be innovative both inside and outside the organization. Visionary is the one who can envision the future but not necessarily have plans and actions to get it. Therefore, 'future orientation' feels more like a 'leaning towards the future' where being visionary is 'making the future.'

The vision would lead to Future Orientation: If the team has a clear vision, everything starts moving in the right direction. Futures Orientation gets you the path to where you need to go. It is looking beyond today and hopefully asking the question, what can we do better tomorrow or what do we think are the likely scenarios that could unfold in the next one to three years!

Future Orientation is the ability to identify and interpret changes in the environment: It triggers adequate responses to ensure long-term survival and success. Fundamentally organizations should spend more time looking forward - looking ahead in order to be more proactive - to anticipate. Far too many of the organizations have tended toward being "reactive," not "proactive." They wait for the crisis and then call out the firefighters. The only problem about the future is that it is usually here before we are ready for it. Future orientation should help you prepare to meet what's coming!

The best organizations have both vision and future orientation: Visionary carries an element of "creativity" that "futures orientation" does not. Clearly, those that are visionary have their visions well defined - the desired future state or destination (it doesn’t mean that it can't change over time) and have "aligned" their organization around that vision while remaining soundly anchored in their "core purpose" of being a business.

Both vision and future orientation are reached through business capabilities: No organization is perfect. By default, an organization is an organism - the "cells" are its people. It is living. The blood is the information which flows. No person is perfect,  mistakes are made. As it is the case with an individual, so is the case with an organization. Its strength, its character, its sustainability is determined to a large extent by its capability to "recover" and move forward.

Culture is soil to fertilize ultimate business success: “Future orientations" is part of the foundation of a successful organization, and being visionary can inspire the organization to move from good to great. However, the culture as the soil will determine the ultimate success of all efforts as that culture will determine the behaviors and practices which everyone from entry level to senior executive engages in - these will either enable or inhibit success. 


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