I’m currently building a new, very exciting company, and scheduling workshops on creativity, innovation and Exponential Organizations (ExOs) and to stimulate my thought process, I decided to re-read some books that have guided my thought process over the years. And this morning, as I searched for a good blog topic, I decided to share the nuggets of one with you.
Daniel Burrus’ Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible focuses on the concept of Futureview. How you view the future shapes how you act in the present, and how you act in the present shapes how you will act in the future. Which decision you make – to buy Apple stock or sell it, or whether to go to school or drop out – is directly related to how you view the future. Your future, therefore, depends on how you view the soft and hard trends that will create the future, and your willingness to take the steps necessary to shape it.
Flash Foresight is the burst of insight about the future that produces new ways of doing things by opening invisible opportunities and solving seemingly impossible problems before they happen.
The book focuses on seven triggers for such bursts, recommending you use some or all of them. They include:
- Start with certainty – use hard trends to see what’s coming. (Example: people are living longer than ever before, are healthier and many have disposable income; that creates tremendous opportunities for these mature adults and the companies seeking to provide them with services and products.
- Anticipate – base your strategies on what you know about the future.
- Transform – use technology-driven change to your advantage. (Example: with the proliferation of smartphones and apps, he challenged himself to use his principles to start a new company while writing the book.)
- Take your biggest problem and skip it – that let’s you focus on the other, often more important issues!
- Go opposite – look where no-one else is looking to see what no-one else is seeing and doing.
- Redefine and reinvest – identify and leverage your uniqueness in new and powerful ways.
- Direct your future – or someone else will. (Lead your life, don’t let life happen to you!)
What makes the book remarkable, is that Burrus challenged himself to actually apply these principles while writing the book. Using all of the principles, within a matter of months, he not only discovered a new app-related business with a business model that could generate $60 Million per year, but also discovered ways in which the technology could be used to change other industries!
Take some time to think about your view of the future beyond this month’s priorities and next year’s election. How are social media, driverless cars, immigration and demographic patterns, etc. likely to change within the next 5, 10, 25 years (you pick the period you care about)? How cam we ride those trends and offer new products and services that people will want or need? Trigger your mind – and help make the world better! And share your ideas with us!