I have spent most of the last couple of years shaking off the past (the bad vibes of Covid, lockdown and Hyper Island) and steering a course towards the future. This has involved huge amounts of reading (both fact and fiction), listening to new podcasts and long thoughtful walks, but more than anything, finding others excited about and wanting to push their own organisations into the future. I’ve been lucky to meet many new people and to reconnect with people from the past. There seems to be a genuine hunger to discover what is next across banking, retail, education, fast food, government and every other discipline we have worked in.
A lot of this hunger has been driven by changes in technology, such as the obvious excitement around generative AI, but it is also affected by much of the political, social and economic craziness we see around us in many parts of the world.
My reaction to uncertainty is to explore it, to attempt to model it (at least in diagrams), to discuss it and to teach it; a typical pattern that I realise I have used all my life. If something looks complex or complicated then pull it apart, put it back together and then explain it to others.
Here is my latest diagram that has guided much of my thinking these past few months.
It is both a proto-design for future activities and a roadmap for change. The roadmap is at the top and suggests an ordered progress towards the future while the lower part suggesting some the components that will be needed to make the journey. We will need to combine these components repeatedly to reach valuable futures: combining human skills and technology, offering leadership and learning, conducting experiments and collaborating.
I plan to use this model as the basis for a book exploring my own past journey and providing tools for the journey in front of all of us. I’ll add more colour to this picture in the months ahead.