Bill Gates’ solution to this problem is to dedicate one week a year to thinking about the future. He calls this week, quite unoriginally I might add, “Think Week.”
Now, I can almost hear many of you gasping, “Where the hell am I going to find the time to dedicate a whole week to thinking? I barely have a spare minute!”
Do you really mean to tell me that you and your organization—which are presumably going to spend the remainder of your tomorrow’s in the future—can’t dedicate a measly two percent of your time each year toward thinking about the future?
If a dedicated week is too much to ask, perhaps you could commit an hour each week to the task. (Fifty-two hours in a year comes close to a full workweek for many of us.)
If an hour a week is too taxing you could break the task down into smaller chunks and dedicate 12 minutes.
And, if you can’t find even 12 minutes a day, well then, I seriously question your ability to manage your time and, more importantly, lead an organization.
P.S. If you really don’t think you can afford to spend one week a year toward thinking about the future, try asking yourself a new question: Can you afford not to think about the future?
P.P.S. Here are some great resources to help start thinking about the future:
Lastly, if you do have a full week, here is a great list of books to help get you started thinking the future.