Leadership principles for a changing world

By Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington and Helena Calle, Fast Future 

Whatever the size of your business as a leader and entrepreneur you need to be ready to weather the storms of a complex and constantly evolving world.

This means developing a “futurist mindset”, using our horizon-scanning skills and adjusting our course as needed.

To help leaders not just survive but also thrive at the helm we’ve written a practical guide The Future Leader’s Handbook which will be published shortly. Here is a sample of the principles covered.

  1. Learn Something New Every Day, Then Watch it Grow.  Don’t leave scanning just to the futurists. Allocate at least a couple of hours a week to exploring what’s coming next. Good future leaders learn quickly to establish the habits of a trendspotter and seek out new information at every possible turn.  Subscribe to newsletters, follow thought leaders on social media, join webinars, and work daily to widen your media diet to include information that broadens your mind.  Seek out diverse information sources and cultivate your findings on a link-sharing or social media page of your own.  Watch and learn as your observations go from fringe to mainstream.
  2. Define the Present Broadly.  Study history and archaeology to cultivate and enhance understanding of time and progress.  The best future leaders have a sense of context – a solid grasp of civilizational rise and collapse, failed societies, and gaps in the scientific understanding of the past.  Consider future generations as stakeholders for whom you are accountable.  Envision the great-grandparent holding the new-born baby, and all the past and future the image conveys: that is the present.
  3. Take a Sustainability Perspective. Sustainability has often been talked about in the context of the environment; climate change, wildlife protection, and natural resource consumption. Increasingly, we see organisations taking a much broader view of sustainability that incudes economy, business, and employment, eradicating inequality, developing ethical business practices, our communities and eco systems, education, and personal fulfilment. Perhaps we should be posing questions about how our businesses and our business practices support sustainability, rather than damaging it.
  4. Shape a Forward-Looking Culture. Look at the dominant behaviors and stories around the organization. Who do we make heroes of? Are we celebrating and rewarding those who scout out emerging change and seek to pioneer new ideas? How are we using public spaces – are staff surrounded by constantly changing images, icons, and questions of what’s next – or charts of past performance, safety notices, and policy statements? How is our appraisal and bonus system designed – are innovation and challenging the “system” encouraged and rewarded?
  5. Maintain a Constant Dialogue with Key Stakeholders – The leaders who are least surprised by the future tend be those with the broadest radar. They are always exploring both the issues of today and the factors that could shape and disrupt the future. They do their data gathering in the most natural way possible – by talking constantly to customers, prospects, suppliers, partners, shareholders, competitors, industry associations, business networks, advisors, industry analysts, commentators, journalists and – most importantly – their own staff. They probe for ideas and developments that could accelerate quickly and for weak signals of potentially big changes to come.

Never has it been more important for those leading organizations to demonstrate a deep understanding of the forces, trends, developments, and ideas that could shape the emerging future. From shareholders, employees, customers etc they are all looking for clear signs that we have a genuine grasp of what’s on the horizon and the possible scenarios that could result.

With your futurist mindset learn to become a leader who brings people together around new ideas; one whose leads a thriving business and can navigate future as it evolves.

Fast Future’s forthcoming book, The Future Leader’s Handbook – A Guide to Leading With Foresight, is a resource for those at the helm of business who want to use insights on what’s next to ensure better decision making today.  The book explains how to apply futurist perspectives and applied foresight approaches to future proof decision making in business, government, NGOs, non-profits, and academia. The book lays the groundwork for understanding and acting on the critical trends, forces, ideas, developments, issues, and forecasts influencing the next decade.  The Future Leader’s Handbook – A Guide to Leading With Foresight is aimed at professionals at the sharp end of decision making, who are preparing organizations, communities, and their own lives for the arrival of a future that does not resemble the past.



Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington and Helena Calle are from Fast Future which publishes books from future thinkers around the world exploring how developments such as AI, robotics and disruptive thinking could impact individuals, society and business and create new trillion-dollar sectors. The latest books from Fast Future are: ‘Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity’, and ‘The Future – Reinvented: Reimagining Life, Society, and Business’. And their forthcoming book is ‘500 Futures’. See: www.fastfuture.com

Web         http://www.fastfuture.com

Twitter http://twitter.com/fastfuture

Blog         http://blog.fastfuturepublishing.com/

LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/talwar

Share this...
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *