If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.
― Yogi Berra
So now you have defined Principles, your Why?, perhaps a Mission, and you’ve thoroughly analyzed the current state of your organization, process, or even you. It’s time to look into the future. This is exciting as you get to dream and be creative!
Based on your Why?, what would the ideal future state of your organization, process, or you look like? Think long term, perhaps very long term. What would happen if there were no constraints? What are the metrics, or perhaps are there new metrics? What new business segments or technologies should you bring online, to grow or to mitigate risk? What does your team and employees look like in terms of function and capability?
Perhaps look at other organizations or processes, but be very careful with benchmarking. Just adopting a best practice usually doesn’t work. Every organization’s context, perspective, goals, capabilities, and values is different.
Another way to look at a potential future state: what does success look like? What would perfection look like? When you consider perfection, some other organization’s best practice may seem like a mere stepping stone. Thinking about perfection can radically change perspective.
Finally, once again, think about you. Where would you like to be, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, in ten or more years? Document this future state, just like you did the current state.
Validate the current state. Do all of the stakeholders agree? Does the future state still align with your Principles, Why?, and Mission?
Now compare the current and future state documents. Where are the gaps? What are the priorities of the gaps? Which are the most critical to your survival? Which have the most promise? Which are low hanging fruit that can be bridged quickly?
Now you should have a defined future state document, showing prioritized gaps and opportunities.