Great Scenarios Inspire Us to Act

In times of high anxiety and great uncertainty, organizations and their leaders turn to scenario thinking to expand their sense of what could happen and what they should do. They try to create their Plan B or maybe C in case the future unfolds in ways they didn’t expect.

This objective misses the real power in scenario thinking—anticipating the future with enough clarity and shared purpose that your Plan A moves you into action. Scenarios can generate profound insights that help us confront how we think and feel about our future.

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Envisioning a Future as Trusted Strategic Advisors

One hallmark of great professional associations is their work to collaboratively envision and proactively help shape the future of their professions.

I wholeheartedly agree with this first sentence from the foreword of the National Investor Relations Institute Think Tank on the Future of Investor Relations report. Studying drivers of change, the NIRI think tank concluded the profession faces a disruption opportunity to renew and revitalize.

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Intervening to Shape a Better Future than Americans Imagine

Associations that want to lead in shaping the future can glean great insights from a 2019 Pew Research survey asking Americans what they imagine their 2050 future will be.

While optimists have a slight edge in the overall findings, survey respondents project many of today’s fears and concerns onto their expected future. This dissatisfaction points to opportunities where associations can lead by offering pathways to a preferred future

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