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    « Visual Stories : a template | Main | What's important to 'capture' visually? »

    Breakthrough and Backcast  

    I remember a Qantas Airlines business advertisement on TV a few years ago. It went like this: a clichéd facilitator was looking at a business team and asking "where are we now, where do we want to go, how will we get there?"

    Fairly staid questions - typical of most strategy conversations and planning sessions. A big yawn - o! 

    The problem with this thinking is it's so very limiting to possibilities. If we're only dealing with where we are at now, of course our future dreams will be framed by that starting point. Our future thinking is going to be shaped by the steps - challenging or otherwise - that got us here.

    Breakthrough thinking - and backcasting - take a different approach. It suggests you go forward, waaaaay forward to where you want to end up...your end goal. Then work backwards and ask : What did you do just before achieving that end goal? What was the step before that, and the step before that, before that, before that... it looks like this:


    What happens is, it takes us further than forecasting. We can be more adventurous. We will take bigger risks and larger steps. We will create a list of 'next steps' and actions that are more aptly focused on how that end goal was achieved ... not how (unachievable?) the end goal looks from here, now.

    The visual template I use with teams to get them breaking through and backcasting is here in this enews for you. Click and save the template above or sketch out your own.  

    To help you achieve your goal - any goal at all, fundraising, publishing a book, garden design, being appointed to a board, setting up a share portfolio, staring a new business... breakthrough and backcast. Don't plod along and forecast! Breakthrough and backcast. 

    And the Qantas Airlines advertisement? The rest of it went like this: just as quickly as the corny facilitator was saying 'where do we want to go' etc, one of the (naturally, bored) participants had logged on to the airline's website and booked his flights. So quick to decide and act on things like that these days, but longer to get your strategy and steps in place using traditional, old school thinking. 

    I think breakthrough thinking and backcasting are a must for your project, team and business. Pick up an old school marker and get to grips with breaking through on that goal you've got you're eyes on!


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