Far too much energy is expended on trying to get leadership teams and boards of directors to agree with each other on how to achieve their organization’s goals. Don’t get me wrong here, consensus is a good thing; but if that consensus is disingenuous, then you’ll undoubtedly create more difficulty down the road. This issue has become far more problematic in recent years with the rapid rate of change and increased polarization, all leading to a debilitating condition I like to call, “chronic entrenchment.”
So, how do you get your people to come together and leave their competing narratives at the door? You remove them from the present day issues by creating neutral ground. The future by its very nature, in being removed from the present, is fertile ground for finding commonality. And the first step in effectively planning for an unknown future is to challenge your own bias and assumptions. Projecting your personal ideology forward into a future narrative is the quickest way to ensure you will get it wrong.
Working together to create a plausible future context forces the members of your organization to think more critically about the potential impacts of trends, issues, and events that are here today, rather than on their personal biased or reactionary opinions. Our competing narratives about today are irrelevant in the context of the future. Finding common ground in a collectively created future brings about genuine cohesion, regardless of differing opinions on the issues of today.