BALANCE IN A VUCA WORLD

In Dominique Factor, Future Life, NEWDAWN, Science, SciTech by Dominique Luchart

Nor Vulcan, And Not What You Expect!

The global digital transformation changes the playing field for individuals and companies alike because it is no longer sufficient to operate with traditional business models that use statistical analysis. Staying relevant requires different thinking than extrapolating the future from the past since we now live in a VUCA world. But what is a VUCA world, we might ask? VUCA, for short, is volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity… And we may relate to this as “Hey, it’s crazy out there!”

I did not invent this. The Harvard Business Review describes it as the “situation of constant, unpredictable change that is now the norm in certain industries and areas of the business world.”

The difference between surviving or thriving.

Practical Meaning

So how do we balance this VUCA world and remain positive and thrive? There is a way. Learning agility, leading with a shared purpose, understanding and maintaining cognitive awareness, and courage. Leaders need to leap with critical thinking. The skills needed today are:

  • Situational Awareness
  • Attentional Control
  • Metacognition (thinking about your thinking)
  • Sensemaking (connecting the dots)
  • Intuition
  • Learning Agility
  • Adaptability
  • Dealing with Ambiguity
  • Managing Emotions

The New Norm

It seems to me highly appropriate given what we face today. Indeed, as we hopefully move past COVID 19 and Delta, how do we begin reacquainting ourselves with businesses and lifestyles in the new norm where things have changed so radically? How do we move into shaping a better future for ourselves?

The Foresight Method For Business

As a science fiction writer and futurist, I am not constrained to create a scientific foundation to look ahead and speculate on some of the things that could take place in our world, and there are enormous benefits in that. There are no limits to look at science and technology today and extrapolate scenarios based on these for the future, hundreds of years from now, or taking place in our world in 2098 and beyond. However, as a strategist for companies, I know how science fiction can improve things and pave new ways toward different business opportunities. I can also throttle back the future for more limited timelines helping business leaders build products and services for tomorrow and the next five to ten years.

Foresight methodology to create predictive scenarios.

Relevancy Or Obsolescence?

The future for businesses today is more critical and immediate. Knowing how science fiction can set the stage for the next crave and improve products and services is key to becoming the next SpaceX, Stripe, or Open Air. It is even more so for small businesses, which need to differentiate themselves from the competition. Science fiction is about speculation and creativity in future studies, to see over the horizon and give the mind an advantage to envision what-if scenarios, providing a pathway from imagination to market. 

Being an entrepreneur is complicated enough, taking an idea to revenue. It is complex for small business owners to entertain the notion of thinking differently, without the constraints of a box, allowing ourselves to move past the expected or the likely when there are so many other things to address. Yet, those carving innovations and paving new frontiers are not the big companies or the incumbent in their industries. Frequently, they are the newcomers, like Uber, Waymo (Alphabet), Tesla, and Nvidia, whose pioneering created intelligent, autonomous “operating systems” and made it a reality. Indeed, we see the dawn of commercial space flights with SpaceX partnering with NASA as another exciting new reality and Hershey’s 3D printing chocolate as a trend for our future in food. These are only a few examples of what I consider the “future today.” But, the future today is unknown because it is not widely entertained yet, considering that its distribution has not reached the mainstream.

Creative Visualization

But regardless of how any one of us looks at it, science fiction becomes science facts and has shaped this present. Indeed, in 1956, Philip K. Dirk published a short story about a police chief in a future shaped by predictive computers, humans wired to machines, and screen-based video communications. The work inspired scientists to speculate about this future. Hollywood adapted it as Minority Report, directed by Steven Spielberg 50 years later. Somewhere on the Campus of MIT, John Underkoffler experimented with ways to let people manipulate data with gloved hands. In 2002, a version of his prototype was featured in the film. As science fiction writers imagine the universal fabric of tomorrow, scientists work to make these realities. Submarines, cellphones, e-readers, rocket ships became a reality that way, and many other examples of this creative visualization process exist, turning into a persuasive and influential new product.

Futurecasting And The What-If-Scenarios

So competing today demands questioning and maybe even blowing up the status quo, reframing perceptions, breaking out of the norms to explore new ways of doing things, inventing new products, creating new technologies, and impacting an old or more recent industry. Futurecasting provides possibilities, using science fiction as a way to consider what-if scenarios, using the suspension of disbelief to envision product development, social constraints, solving problems, and identifying solutions or outcomes that address the challenge differently and open new avenues. While strategic analysis is the toy of incumbents who consistently undervalue imagination, agile companies speculate the unforeseeable and respond creatively to it.

Science fiction authors and futurists provide an environment for creating new perceptions, products, and technologies, opening the gateway to innovations. MIT studied the impact of science fiction in creating or developing innovations and recognized how influential it is in generating success. So, today, many leaders and companies seeking a successful presence in the world or their industries use that tool to implement change, working with science fiction authors to implement an anticipatory viewpoint, agile thinking, and adaptive mindset. Discover Tomorrow Today creates the context where exploitable new products or services are developed for the next unicorn.

What can it do for you, and how can you use it?

Science fiction helps you imagine and consider new products for your organization, create new intellectual properties and technologies. It will give you a heightened level of system thinking and recognition of next-order implications. As such, you can now look at something differently and move outside boundaries you may not have otherwise realized.

Consider:

  • The diverse impact of storytelling and narrative as you present yourself or your company
  • The cultural impact of future technology on the consumer or/and society
  • A platform for future ethical debates as change impact us
  • Creation of theoretical design prototypes

The gap between science fiction and reality is shrinking more and more due to where we are in science and technology today. Whatever you do in life and business today, you can emerge ahead of your competition by using this tool as a balanced approach to staying relevant in the future. To learn more about doing this, contact me: [email protected]; check my programs HERE, or set up a FREE appointment to discuss your needs.

Discover Tomorrow Today and NEWDAWN Saga are the bridge between today and tomorrow.

Remember, the possibilities are yours to grab as you remember that the future is today!

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