Scan Wider, Act Faster: A Futurist’s Guide To Making Better Decisions

In a fast-changing world, we can’t plan ahead only by thinking about what’s immediate, local, or urgent. To make better decisions for the present, scan wider for the future – so you understand what’s around the corner, over the horizon, and already playing out in other parts of the world.

I recently spoke at a conference of senior leaders at the WALGA conference. WALGA is the WA Local Government Association – for Mayors, Shire Presidents, and other elected councillors for local communities around Western Australia.

I love their theme this year: Local Futures. Of course, ‘local’ is relevant to local government. But I particularly like the combination of ‘local’ and ‘futures’ because it aligns with much of what I do as a futurist. Clients engage me to understand more about the future so they can make better decisions now.

Most of your decisions are local – they are for you, your family, your team, or your organisation. To make better decisions, understand the future better. Even if you don’t have certainty (and we all know the future isn’t certain!), you’ll make better, more informed decisions now.

I put it this way: Scan Wider, Act Faster.

Scanning wider is about looking up and looking out to see what’s happening elsewhere, and applying it to your own future.

As William Gibson said 20 years ago:

“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”

The solutions you seek to the challenges you face might already exist. Other people solving the same problems might already have the solutions – somewhere else in the world, in different industries and sectors, or in other communities.

What are you doing to scan wider so you can act faster?

Download my worksheet ‘Scan Wider’ for ideas on how to scan wider to help understand your future for making better decisions now.



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