Imagine it is the late 15th century; you are an explorer, preparing to sail into the fog. No one has ever come back from the fog, so you do not know what is on the other side. As the captain, how do you pack for the journey? What will help you deal with rapidly changing and uncertain conditions on the other side of the fog?
This is the challenge that many business leaders face today in the midst of the rapid and confusing change we’re all experiencing. Leaders confront a foggy future without a reliable guide—no one has been to the future and returned. Yet they need to make critical decisions that will set their organization up for success many years into the future.
With limited and imperfect information, business leaders must pack and plan so well that they not only survive but also thrive no matter what future environment they find themselves in.
This requires a series of steps within our META framework to achieve acceleration at the strategy level. The steps allow you to make crisp decisions in the face of uncertainty and then adapt as circumstances change and, ultimately, get to the destination much faster than you would have otherwise—and then start moving to the next destination.
But most leaders don’t see themselves as explorers of the unknown. They dislike uncertainty. So they tend to focus on what they can control. To the extent that they think about the unknown, they talk about “future-proofing” their organizations. ...