The future is already here, and it’s unexpectedly and suddenly different than we’d planned or imagined—even just yesterday.
Today, we’re living in a state of constant whitewater, besieged by an avalanche of ever-increasing information, with interruptions coming at us from every corner.
New times and new challenges call for innovative Forward Thinking. Yet most organizations are still mired in the Industrial Age.
In that bygone era, methods like best practices, working harder and even working smarter may have served us well, but now they keep us stuck living in the past.
To step into a better future, we need to shift into more modern ways of being and working that work for everyone. These new ways must allow us to sense changes early, and to adapt swiftly and intuitively.
To do this, we must interact with each other differently: with an open mind, listening to every voice, ready to discover whatever is there for us to see.
And we must give ourselves the freedom to act upon what we discover.
The purpose of my work is to help people bridge the gap between the Industrial Age and the Forward-Thinking Age, with new insights and strategies you won’t find elsewhere.
Advice, Experience and Tools From Leading Experts
The Exploring Forward-Thinking Workplace interviews are a new type of strategic conversation with over 70 pioneering leaders of tomorrow — today. These top business and thought leaders come from many different countries and industries.
They span the business, human potential, psychology, communications, acting, and spiritual domains.
Yet they all have one thing in common: Their work demonstrates a deep understanding of how to navigate the shifts that are occurring today.
Together, the interviews illuminate how — together — we can uncover new and better solutions to our most vexing challenges.
The advice, experience and tools shared by these experts can help us create a future in which every voice is heard and matters, everyone thrives and finds meaning, and change and innovation happen naturally.
As one reader who chose to remain anonymous said:
“This conversation invites and allows whole beings to show up. Like whole food, whole beings are more nutritious to the system they exist within.”
In addition to questions specific to each leader, there are the six core questions that I ask in each interview:
Question 1: How can we create workplaces where every voice is heard and matters, everyone thrives and finds meaning, and change and innovation happen naturally?
This question helps get at the essence of what’s missing in most workplaces, and it opens up a space for people to freely describe how to create an ideal workplace. As Joseph Jaworski said:
“We don’t describe the world we see, but we see the world we describe.”
Change and innovation may be top-of-mind for most organizations today, but they still struggle to implement it. The answers to this question reveal how organizational change and innovation can occur naturally, if we start with the inner change of the human participants.
Question 2: How do we get an employee’s full attention and best performance?
This question deals directly with one of the top priorities for today’s bottom-line focused executives, and you’ll find that the responses are practical and actionable.
Question 3: What do people really lack and long for at work?
Even in the best of companies I worked for, there was always something that would dampen my enthusiasm and my engagement. Often, it was office politics. Sometimes it was a bully. Many times, it wasn’t safe to share my true thoughts or what was really going on. Then there was the meaningless work, even in organizations with a grand purpose. And this was just the tip of the iceberg.
So I asked, “What do people really lack and long for at work?” Few people talk about this, and even fewer try to address it. But we can’t move forward if we don’t.
You’ll find that the answers to this question provide more than just increased awareness: They provide the means to do something about it.
Questions 4 and 5: What is the most important question leaders should ask employees?and What is the most important question employees should ask leaders?
Every organization I’ve ever worked with has had an “us” versus “them” dynamic to one degree or another, at one or more levels. My intention with these two questions is to bridge the gap between levels and help people other see one other’s perspective.
The answers to this question will help you see that, too often, we are still asking the same old questions—or not asking questions at all.
You’ll also discover just how important it is to create a space for questions to be asked, as well as for us to listen to each other.
Question 6: What is the most important question we should ask ourselves?
This question has been one of the most popular among readers of the interviews, and with good reason. I can’t think of anything that’s had a greater impact on my life than asking myself new questions. These leaders and experts will introduce you to powerful questions that you’ve likely never heard or asked yourself before.
As Kurt Wright says in Breaking the Rules:
“The energy around an unanswered question may very well be the most powerful motivating force in the universe.”
The core questions I ask each interviewee were designed to harness this powerful motivating force.
Bill Fox, Founder at Forward Thinking Pro