Leaders, employees, customers, shareholders, and citizens are looking to achieve new levels of success that is wider, deeper, and more sustaining.

This creates an uncommon opportunity for companies that don't operate by default - they don't continue in the tried-and-tested or dabble around the edges. With clarity and intention, companies can design their future.

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Companies need to design the future—not just react to it

fastcompany.com

A first step is leaders' intent toward something greater than personal success. The intent may result from an intrinsic motivation to leave a positive legacy, or they may be compelled by investors, employees, or outside pressure such as governments.

But intent is not enough. Issuing a new purpose, sympathy, and compassion are only helpful if a company proactively designs the future they want to work toward. Given that futures will be bleak if design continues to ignore the environment, more companies should consider a planet-centred design.

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Companies prefer to plan for the next quarter or year. This leads to minor improvements of 3% or 5%.

The liberating thing about future design is that companies can try on multiple futures. Each future design should be a fully rounded picture of what the company is doing, how it's operating, how it works with communities and the planet, and how shareholders benefit.

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  • Instead of considering immediate needs, identify higher-order needs as they will always be relevant and lead to more comprehensive solutions.
  • Devise a description of the world the team wants to create, rather than creating a financially oriented five-year plan.
  • Align action with intention. Run a collaborative design sprint with key stakeholders. Instead of using the sprint to create new products or features, use it to arrive at new futures.
  • Build a shared mission.

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