Futurism is one of the most misunderstood concepts. It is not about gazing into crystal balls or reading tea leaves. It is not about vendor ‘solutions’ that quickly apply band-aid surgery toward organizational symptoms. Futurism is not an academic exercise that borders on the esoteric or gets stuck in the realm of hypothesis.
Futurism is an all-encompassing concept that must look at all aspects of the organization… first at the Big Picture and then at the pieces as they relate to the whole. One plans for business success through careful strategy.
Futurism is a connected series of strategies, methodologies and actions which will poise any organization to weather the forces of change. It is an ongoing process of evaluation, planning, tactical actions and benchmarking accomplishments. Futurism is a continuum of thinking and reasoning skills, judicious activities, shared leadership and an accent upon ethics and quality.
Quotes on The Future
- “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Yogi Berra
- “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Robert F. Kennedy
- “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Albert Einstein
- “Tomorrow is another day.” Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind
- “The future will one day be the present and will seem as unimportant as the present does now.” W. Somerset Maugham
- “You ain’t heard nothing yet, folks.” Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer (1927)
- “I like the dreams of the future better that the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson
- “The fellow who can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can’t make anybody believe that he has it.” Will Rogers
- “The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke, Technology and the Future
- “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay
- “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Abraham Lincoln
- “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” Graham Greene
- “Upper classes are a nation’s past; the middle class is its future.” Ayn Rand
- “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” Winston Churchill
- “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X””
- “All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.” Benjamin Franklin
- “It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather that the hope of creating the future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young.” Bertrand Russell
- “Many people think that if they were only in some other place, or had some other job, they would be happy. Well, that is doubtful. So get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don’t put off being happy until some future date.” Dale Carnegie
- “Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. In is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and a manly heart.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Futurism, The Future
I offer nine of my own definitions for the process of capturing and building a shared Vision for organizations to chart their next 10+ years. Each one gets progressively more sophisticated:
- Futurism: what you will do and become… rather than what it is to be. What you can and are committed to accomplishing…rather than what mysteriously lies ahead.
- Futurism: leaders and organizations taking personal responsibility and accountability for what happens. Abdicating to someone or something else does not constitute Futurism and, in fact, sets the organization backward.
- Futurism: learns from and benefits from the past… a powerful teaching tool. Yesterdayism means giving new definitions to old ideas…giving new meanings to familiar premises. One must understand events, cycles, trends and subtle nuances because they will recur.
- Futurism: seeing clearly your perspectives and those of others. Capitalizing upon change, rather than becoming a by-product of it. Recognizing what change is and what it can do for your organization.
- Futurism: an ongoing quest toward wisdom. Commitments to learning, which creates knowledge, which inspire insights, which culminate in wisdom. It is more than just being taught or informed.
- Futurism: ideas that inspire, manage and benchmark change. The ingredients may include such sophisticated business concepts as change management, crisis management and preparedness, streamlining operations, empowerment of people, marketplace development, organizational evolution and vision.
- Futurism: developing thinking and reasoning skills, rather than dwelling just upon techniques and processes. The following concepts do not constitute Futurism by themselves: sales, technology, re-engineering, marketing, research, training, operations, administration. They are pieces of a much larger mosaic and should be seen as such. Futurism embodies thought processes that create and energize the mosaic.
- Futurism: watching other people changing and capitalizing upon it. Understanding from where we came, in order to posture where we are headed. Creating organizational vision, which sets the stage for all activities, processes, accomplishments and goals. Efforts must be realistic, and all must be held accountable.
- Futurism: the foresight to develop hindsight that creates insight into the future.
About the Author
Power Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.
Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.