If someone is out shooting at a moving target, they would never think of trying to hit the target where it is now. They would try to hit the target where it’s going to be by the time the bullet or arrow gets there! (Apologies to the seagull – it’s not intended to be the target, just an example of something moving freely and unpredictably . . . . . . . .)
And yet, so often, we can be so impressed by information – especially if it’s technical and in the form of statistics, or called “evidence” – that we base our plans for the future on such information, which may already be out of date.
What we should be doing is looking at trends, and thinking about what changes might be happening to our world in the future, so as to help us guess where our plans need to take us by the time they are delivered.
As an example, if we are planning to remove a percentage of the population out of fuel poverty by a given date, it’s no use basing this on current energy prices. We should assume that energy costs will be running ahead of general inflation, and therefore countering fuel poverty will need a higher level of investment than might otherwise be assumed.
It’s true that the past cannot automatically predict the future. But thinking creatively about how things have changed in the past, can help us develop ideas about how the future might be. And no matter how imperfect our efforts to predict the future, we’re likely to get much closer to the target by thinking differently about the future, than if we point all our efforts at how things are now!
Fortunately there’s help available for thinking differently about the future: see “The Tomorrow Project” in “Interesting Links”.
Managing all this information requires us to make the best possible use of our sub-conscious, as referred to in previous blogs, particularly the one headed “Problem Solving, Creativity, Brains, and Co-Coaching”.