Service Creation

Avoid death. 1 hour to map out the future for your organisation.

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What will happen in the future?

No one knows.  What most business leaders agree on though is that the places you currently find your revenues will not be the same in 5-10 years. You'll be generating your revenue from services or business models that don't currently exist. Or you'll be dead. In a business sense.

In many organisations it's frightening how little time is spent by the most senior leaders when it comes to peeking into the (near) future and making sure their business models will be relevant in the upcoming years. There are many reasons why this is the case, short-term return demands from shareholders etc etc, but that topic is for another day...

Sister, do it for yourself, map the future...

If you feel that your organisation is not adequately preparing themselves for the market of the near future, then you should take the bull by the horns and make this simple future-mapping process a kick-off event for all your new projects.

How to future map

To navigate your near future you need to map out some information.

  1. Gather your team. Make sure different disciplines are invited, not just your nearest colleagues.
  2. Download the Future Shifts Mapping Canvas.
  3. Let your team use post-it notes on the canvas to add their contributions in each section of the canvas. Don't forget to lead each team member read-out-loud their contributions. (You may want to divide people into pairs here, depending on the size of your group.
  4. Start with the current context section and move clockwise around the canvas.
The Future Shifts Canvas

Bam! You've mapped the future

Within an hour or so, you should have a canvas full of input and insights from your multi-disciplinary team of colleagues. If the team wants to do further research, there is a second page in the canvas that allows people to go further and start mapping out where capital is being invested in your organisation; what entrepreneurs are doing interesting things within your field etc.

Use the insights collected as input into, for example, an ideation session for new services. Or to help you gauge the longer-term roadmaps you may see being bandied around in your company.

P.S. Avoid the Star Trek lovers!

I've genuinely seen people in these workshops write up "telekinesis" or "quantum teleportation". Yes. Just like on Star Trek. If you have colleagues who contribute this kind of content in your workshops then teleport them out the door by the scruff of their pants!  This exercise should be rooted in reality, and the NEAR future. The one you may actually be able to affect.


Useful tools, frameworks or further reading.

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