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Good Questions About the Future Help you “Do it”

Warren Berger, who wrote “A More Beautiful Question,” gives good advice on turning New Year’s resolutions (which you may already have abandoned) into questions that can help you achieve those desires and intentions. http://www.fastcodesign.com/3024646/before-you-abandon-those-resolutions-read-this?partner=newsletter

He suggests reframing your resolution as “How Might We?” or “How Might I?” For example: “How might I exercise more this year?” or “How might we solve this business problem?” As you read the article you can see how the power of the question opens up intention and direction, leading you to new ideas and actions. It’s an approach widely used by designers and others to scope out problems.

Reading this made us realize how often futurists use the question “What if?” to stimulate thought and exploration of possible futures. “What if?” leads us to anticipate future outcomes of a trend or shaping force that could have immense effects if it continues, or gets stronger. One recently popular “What if?” has been “What if China…(fill in the blank!)?” Another one is “What if our members don’t need us anymore because of…?”

Depending on what your business, industry, or group is, there are probably two or three forces looming in everyone’s minds. Why not take one of them and shape a “What if?” question? This can be a starter for a discussion about potential outcomes, implications, needs for change, needs for information, and so on. 

Because the people having this discussion will most likely be responsible for operations under these changed conditions, the exploration will come back around to “How might we?” questions. These questions are about being successful in adapting to, or initiating change, and in discovering the innovations likely to be necessary in that future. And also about uncovering new opportunities!

We’d be glad to help in getting that discussion started, and to open eyes wide to the future.

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