Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Most Desired Future

I'm taking this Strategic Management class right now and enjoying it. One technique the professor is using is to have us envision our own most desired future (MDF), and then think through the strategy of how we will get there. If we can do this for ourselves, then we should be able to do it for a company.

The kicker is that he is really challenging us to define MOST DESIRED future, not just some future farther along the current life/job path we are all on. He is insisting that we envision a future that may seem barely possible and that if your most desired future is actually to be V.P. by 50, then you have a serious problem. He is trying to get us to go through a visioning exercise which is about the journey of thought, not the destination. After all, how many people 40 years ago would have envisioned today?

For me, this is the perfect culmination to a lot of thinking I've been doing over the past two years. Between school and work, I have given a lot of thought to what I want out of life (and out of a career as a subset of that). But it amazes me how virtually nobody in the class, and these are smart people, can see beyond the job title paradigm, even for a simple exercise like this. They continue to want to define their most desirable future in terms of a job.

I'm not sure what this says about me, but it has been easy for me to step out of that box. Of course I'm the guy that picked up and moved to Utah at 26 to ski bum, too.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. If you have no vision, any strategy will get you there.


Anonymous said...

I like thinking about that. But what if your most desired future involves lots of money, but getting to paint, workout, cook, and garden all day without any stress over paying your bills? I guess the trajectory is keep your day job, put a lot of money away in retirement so you can retire early?

Did he give you any guidelines? I'd like to practice this myself. :)

Kirk said...

Hey Spirophita,

I think we talk about how to actually achieve our most desired future next week. :)
But yeah, that's kinda the key part. Prof recommends starting with defining your values and what you really want to get out of life. How do you want to be remembered. That will hopefully distill paint, workout, cook & garden down to a couple common themes. Ask yourself the 5 whys about each of those 4 items. Why do you want to paint? Maybe it's because you love that personal expression. Why do you love the personal expression? etc. etc. The idea is to do some deeper thinking beyond simply "I want to live in a mansion and not have to work". Then, hopefully, you can find a way to make enough money doing what you love to be happy.

I'm trying to transition from: work in corporate America until I'm 55 and retire early so I can open a little record store or something TO maybe change careers now and be an eco-architect until I'm 75, cuz I'll enjoy it so much.

I hope that helps......Kirk

Brooke said...

Word. Let's bust some paradigms and live a life where living and working instersect - a little place called Pura Vita!