Anticipatory Leaders sense of the future is so strong it is as if the future is alive in the present. This perspective allows them to open doors to new ways of seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling in a way that makes everyone else say, “Yeah. That’s really cool. Why didn’t I do that!?”
Anticipatory Leaders in any field share this ability with artists like Miles Davis or Georgia O’Keefe. Steve Jobs of Apple, Frances Hesselbein of the Drucker Foundation, Stan & Iris Ovshinsky of Energy Conversion Devices, Al Gore of CurrentTV, and Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines are all examples of anticipatory leaders. Knowing how to learn about the future, anticipatory leaders possess a deep advantage in an otherwise turbulent and confusing world.
Art of the Future works with organizations to develop anticipatory leadership through...
Left on automatic pilot, organizations will be robust only as long as the environment in which they exist fits very neatly with their existing talents. Clay Christensen’s The Innovators Dilemma is a virtual catalog of organizations that did very well as long as the structural dynamics of their context remained within certain tolerances. But, when some fundamental element of the system changed (for example, when the disposable income of a demographic group grew while that of another shrank), the organization didn’t anticpate the change and couldn’t master it quickly enough to survive and thrive.
Robust human systems maximize and combine the power of four elements…
The organization has many different people and units acting as sensors to interpret and affect the environment. The more complex an organizations context, the greater the differentiation required. Like the coast of Norway, a differentiated organization is full of nooks and crannies.
Like a symphony orchestra with a vast repertoire, even though the organization may do many, many different things, all of its members know how to do several of the same things very well. The oboist and the drummer both know how to keep time. The violinist and the French horn player both practice the same scales. The basics are so well replicated by everyone, that no one even notices. Like a plain circle, homogenization has an undifferentiated, featureless surface
Robust human systems are unified around a common purpose. The acts of many people are coordinated by a passionate intention to achieve an well-understood mission. They may be operating independently in their own unique style but they are moving the organization in the same direction.
Commonality of purpose doesn’t suppress individuality in a robust system. Great organizations embrace the uniqueness of great men and women. There is plenty of room for the individualized "i"!
It is second nature for Robust Human Systems to anticipate the future. They are comprised of energetic, curious, and communicating learners. They buzz. They glow. Anticipatory Leaders are the bellows blowing oxygen into these systems. They design Life Sustaining Environments. They make it easy to have difficult conversations.
Anticipatory leaders use the power of integration to bring people together for conversations that don’t happen in most organizations. Improving the quality of workplace dynamics is an example of this kind of challenge: it’s an issue everywhere but the people from different functions are not called to focus on the subject. Anticipatory leaders know how to convene conversations around important issues.
Because we understand the elements of a robust system, Art of the Future helps Anticipatory Leaders maintain them through our executive coaching services, our training programs, our event design activities and our facilitation services.