29 Oct 2018.

I gave a particular energising keynote to a remarkable group of senior FS professionals at the FS Forum’s European Executive Summit at St Paul de Vence near Nice a couple of weeks ago. (The ‘Leading Change’ keynote went down a storm I must admit – reviews here.)

It was a brilliant event and every speaker was utterly inspiring. I made copious notes and learnt several things from each one.

There is one piece of insight in particular that I would like to share with you, courtesy of David Smith, CEO of Global Futures and Foresight – The 3 Horizons Model.

This is a decade-old McKinseys framework based on research into how companies sustain growth and it is a fantastic tool to use to engage your leadership team in looking ahead and planning for the future – while still maximising today’s opportunities.

Horizon 1 (Today) – represents the trajectory of your current business model, products and services.
Horizon 3 (Future) – represents the trajectory of your future business opportunities.
Horizon 2 (Bridge) – represents opportunities and obligations to bridge the gap between the two.

By focusing your brainstorming and analysis in these three distinct stages, in that order, your team can work on short, medium and long term futures – together – without offending one another or conflating different time-frames.

It is also a stark visual reminder that our current business model has a shelf life which needs to be managed whilst we create the new world – and that the new world may even cannibalise some of what we do today. This sort of thinking can help to shock successful companies out of a state of complacency.

Lastly, it illustrates beautifully that ‘change’ and ‘strategy’ are inter-changeable. After all, every successful change requires a clear strategy and every successful strategy requires change.

So what should I do with this simply brilliant tool? Use it. Get your team together and run a simple brain storming session. It will be energising and invaluable.

Obviously if you need a facilitator, drop me an email.

Warm regards

October 2018