The Long Near for the long AND short haul / by heathrowkennedy

Last Thursday I attended a trend briefing from The Future Laboratory thanks to being a subscriber to their essential LS:N Global service.  This concentrated afternoon session was centered around the concept of the "Age of the Long Near".   It focused on three key areas:

  • Whole-system Thinking
  • The Optimized Self
  • The Immortal Brand

It's not the purpose of this blog to go into detail on the topics (although I'm happy to sit down and talk about them if you have a moment) beyond a couple of very lasting thoughts which emerged out of the 'toolkit' (more of that later);

  • Build for purpose not for short term
  • Think beta, not finished
  • Plan for re-invention, not just change
  • Target mindsets, not demographics

It's no surprise that these all fitted the overarching narrative of the day - that of the long term - critically it all boiled down to the essential requirement to take a step back from the day-to-day and to think beyond the immediate horizon.  That's challenging in any organisation / enterprise but it has to be done.    Blaming a lack of resources for a behavior that is potentially not income generating and is somewhere over the horizon is a poor excuse and I would argue that just the mere act of thinking beyond the here-and-now helps elevate performance NOW.   It's also incredibly difficult to deliver the right things today without a strong sense of vision about the future.

Here the Future Laboratory help keep some focus - as lofty as some of their insights are they structure each major one into DRIVERS > IMPACTS > CONSEQUENCES > FUTURES and, most importantly, finish with that 'toolkit'.     Apply the toolkit to your business and thinking and you are half way there.

Of course there is a wider force at play that these insight sessions deliver.   They get you thinking.   External stimulation is critical to deliver that spark of creativity - it is brain food pure and simple.