Categories
Design Execution Strategy Vision

Dear future you

We can design better culture, better employee experiences, better customer experiences.

I love good design.

I’ve always been interested in design, both personally and professionally. 

Good design helps tell and sell a story.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t great at math and other exact subjects at school. Otherwise, I would have become an architect.

I love great architecture. 

Architecture is the bridge between imagination and execution. It’s THE profession that explains the importance of good design.

We need more architects and not just those who design buildings.

While design thinking is becoming more and more usual in the business world, there’s still a long way to go.

Many organizations still think in traditional hierarchical models, while networking experts have proven already many times that those models are not the primary reason why businesses are thriving.

It’s the way we influence and network with each other. Those networks can be designed to work even better.

We can design better culture, better employee experiences, better customer experiences.

We can even design our own lives better if we take the time to do so.

One of my fond design memories was when I lived in the US, and I had the chance to witness the design of a better employee and customer experience up close.

We were not happy with our results, and with the right leadership now in place, we decided to pause and understand what was happening.

We then took a hard look at ourselves and how we were behaving towards associates and customers. 

Once we understood that the change we wanted to see had to start with our own behavior, we jumped.

We spelled out what a new future would look like, how we would need to lead, how we would impact those led by us, how they would need to interact with customers.

Then we designed it.

While easy to put on paper in a few sentences, this process took several months to analyze, design, and prepare and several years to execute.

That was the courage needed by the leaders of the company to change the future.

It worked. 

Ten years later, the company is still enjoying the results from that investment in a new future.

Good design is often overlooked.

Most leaders do not pause and take the time to intentionally design a better future. 

You don’t want to be that leader, and you don’t want to work for a leader who focuses on business results exclusively, often at the expense of culture.

It may work for a while, but there will be a moment when everything will start crashing down.

Designing a future for yourself, your team, your company is an art and a science.

As we’re approaching the end of the year, I’d like you to play a little with design (and forget about the annual New Year’s resolutions).

I’d like you to design 2022 for yourself, and here’s the way to do it.

I’d like you to write your future self a letter. 

Write yourself a letter that you will read back at the end of 2022. Look forward one year from now and try to imagine the year you designed for yourself. Write about it.

Do it before year-end.

A simple website to help you with your letter is www.futureme.org. You can write the letter to yourself, and they will send it back to you in one year (or three years, or five years).

A nice touch because you may forget.

It’s a playful way to add a little design to your life (and make my point).

Your turn: Dear FutureMe, …

Do more of what makes you happy!

Erikjan

NB. This is the fifth publication in a series of ten connected to the 10 cues in my playbook “MIND.SET.GROW. – 10 life-changing cues for success and significance”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.