For over 40 years, Dr, Bob Johansen has worked with the Institute for the Future to help a range of corporations approach and influence the future. He is the author or coauthor of ten books. His latest book, The New Leadership Literacies, is a guide on how to thrive in a future of extreme disruption. At our inaugural session in January of 2017, Dr. Bob Johansen, presented insightful ideas on how to thrive in the future. Now, over a year later, he built on principles to navigate in a complex, hyper-connected, and increasingly transparent world.
We already know we live in a VUCA world. But it’s time to flip that Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity into Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility. But as you continue to process this for yourself, be wary of certainty. Clarity is usually expressed in stories that invite others to engage—certainty is expressed in rules and punishes people who violate them.
It is important to induce thoughts that cannot be “unthought.” Allow yourself to be provoked by insights even if you do not agree with the forecasts. And if you’re ever proven wrong, learn to find value in that failure. Because almost everything has been tried before and failed, but failed in interesting ways. This is how we grow.
The next ten years will be a period of explosive connectivity—hiding will get harder and seeking will get easier. Lies will become less expensive as the price of truth goes up. Still truth is the source of authority and we are uniquely positioned to nurture and seed hope in the younger generations. But we must also be open to the idea of reverse mentoring as those who’ve come of age after 2010, known as “digital natives”, will be able to help “digital immigrants” prepare for the future.