To navigate a changing world: 7 Questions to ask, 13 Things to do

By Graeme Codrington 

Given the levels of uncertainty we’re all facing right now – political, economic, technological, personal and more – there has never been a more important time to have a clear view on the issues shaping the future and on how we should each respond.

The team at TomorrowToday works with some of the world’s most recognised brands, and here are some key issues we’ve encountered recently, with suggestions on how you and everyone in your organisation might respond:

  • Rethink how you work. Despite all the talk, there is still no best practice blueprint for what a digitally transformed, 21st century business should look like. Stop trying to copy other companies and their approaches. Stop waiting for a blueprint to arrive fully formed. Start experimenting more. The early evidence is clear: companies that will succeed in this emerging digital era are not just focusing on digitizing their businesses, they’re focusing on enabling their people to collaboratively solve problems. What are you doing to free your people up to work with others on key issues that are not part of their daily jobs?
  • Experiment more. We’re convinced this is one of the most important factors in determining your success in a changing world. What experiments are worth you trying right now?
  • Change your job. Artificial Intelligence, algorithms and robots replacing humans can be a scary thought. It’s even scarier when you realise that they’re going to replace office workers, professionals and leaders too – they’re not just for the factories. What can you do that the machines cannot? Hint: anything that involves repetitive actions, no matter how complex, and anything that involves thinking, no matter how complex, can be done better by the machines. We humans are better at emotions, relationships, intuition, entertainment and fun. Do any of these factors feature in your job?
  • Upgrade your skills. Don’t wait until the future is right on top of you. It’s already clear that we’re all going need to adapt and learn new skills to keep working in the future, so start your upgrade now. Choose a self-development podcast and listen to at least one episode a week. Choose an online course and do at least one lesson per week. Read at least one book per month, preferably as part of a book club (start one at work) where you can discuss what you learn with other people. Start with content you’re interested in, and once you’re in a good groove of learning, stretch yourself to develop future-focused skills. What new skill would you like to learn by the end of this year? Embrace difference and listen to as many voices as you can. Escape your filter bubble by listening to people outside of your current small network. Who’s voice is missing in your life and work?
  • Embrace difference and listen to as many voices as you can. Escape your filter bubble by listening to people outside of your current small network. Who’s voice is missing in your life and work?
  • Learn to debate. Once a week, encourage your team to debate a controversial issue, dangerous idea or mind-bending topic. Ring fence this conversation so that it doesn’t spill over into daily work or hurt relationships. But we all need to learn to interrogate our orthodoxies, stretch our minds and think new thoughts. How can you help your team to upgrade their mental processing skills?
  • Share the journey. Formal and informal mentoring relationships and multiple networks filled with people who can push, encourage and support you, are going to be key for each of us in the years that lie ahead. What can you do every day to develop these mentors and networks?

Sign up for 3 free lessons to further develop your skills for Adaptive intelligence & complex problem solving

  • The need to rethink leadership models and why adaptive intelligence is so important
  • The importance of 'the balcony' and how to build the reflective muscle
  • Cognitive load management - a new skill we all need to make sense of a complex world