Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Personal futures - making yours

Here is a futurist's web site


           Let's look at it now

           He also co-founded

           His other web site is

           while aspi.org.au
           is different

M. Barber has a book on designing your own future

     We will try it

     First a few intro comments

     Then we'll do it workshop style

comments (ch. 1)

     The procedure is aimed at




     Many clients
    "hand control for their life's
     journey over to others." (p.5)

     "... many people spend
     more time planning for
     a ... holiday than ...
     for their entire lives." (p. 9)

    What if you are doing what you really want?

        You will waste less time

            ... and enjoy what you do more

     But how?

          An approach was developed

              By taspi.com.au

                 = The Australian Strategic
                    Planning Institute

                         The author's other web site

The Approach 
(starts in ch. 2)

   Here are 4 types of people

      All have one part of what it takes

      but without all parts,
      you're limiting yourself!

     Which are you?
     Make a pie chart...

           1. Big Idea folks

           2. Detail oriented people

           3. Always busy folks

           4. Thinkers

[what is difference between 1 &3? 2&4? Came up in class]

    Limitations of the 4 types

       1. Big Idea people
           Hard for them to make a
           good idea actually happen

      2. Detail oriented folks

          Don't see where they are going
          Forget to smell the roses

      3. Always busy people  

          Inefficiency -
          Get less done than
          it seems they should

     4. Thinkers

         While busy thinking
         things through,
        "life just passes them by"

  If you can combine all 4, 
  each limitation is 
  compensated by the other 3

  What do you think of

      the 4 type system?

      their limitations?

  The process

      These match the 4 types

         1. Strategic phase

             Uses "Big Idea" concept

             Figure out your vision

       2. Operational phase
           - I would have called it
           the tactical phase

           Uses "detail oriented" concept

           Figure out how to
           achieve the vision

     3. Execution phase

         Use the "always busy" concept

         Make the vision happen!

     4. Evolution phase

         Use a "thinker" based approach

         Adjust the vision, tactics & execution over time

    Let's start with
    "1. Strategic phase"
    and continue on from there

1. Strategic phase (ch. 35)

    What is your vision?

    What are the
    obstacles to
    achieving it?

"A vision is a strongly desired
end state ... something you
would like in the future" (p. 17)

you will not hand this in -
it is for your own information only!

List the most important things in your life:

List most significant events

What do you conclude about yourself so far?

What helps you get up in the morning?

What keeps you awake at night?

What would you spend more time
on if you could?

What do you spend lots of time on?
What do you do most frequently?

Of those things you do a lot,
which ones are fun/rewarding/etc.?
(as opposed to not fun/rewarding/etc.)

If you could,
what things would you give up doing,
if you could do better things instead?

What things would you
be unwilling to do?

[fix it: under what circdumstancdes? Things cdurrently hate to do, or would be unwilling if asked, or what?]

What things do you
feel you must have in life?

Now write your rough vision:

In ___ years, I'd like to ________

Think big: in ___ years,
my life will involve _______

[fix: how is thing big different from the prexceding statement??]

I will know I'm on track when

If my future is right, I'd probably
hear people in my environment
saying things like

Suppose it is the future and
you have achieved your vision.
How do you feel and what are
you doing?

Summarize all the above into a
second version of your vision
of what your life will be like in
___ years.

"In ___ years,

Adjust your vision to avoid traps (p. 41)

The autopilot vision trap:

     If your vision is:


          exists only by default

          is not well defined enough to
              know how to achieve
             or to be able to adjust

     Example: "be happy"

     Adjust your vision
     (if appropriate to do so)

           Is it ok to have a very
           vague personal vision?

The "historical habit" vision trap:

    Is your vision is a statement
    of your historical habits?

       Adjust it to be forward thinking
       rather than backward thinking

       Note: If your life is just fine,
       no need to feel obliged to change it!

The "no time frame" vision trap:

    Your vision has no time limit

    It is better to have a target date,
    so you have something clear to
    work toward

   Adjust your vision
   to have a target date

The "who cares?" vision trap:

    Is your vision boring to you?

    Then it falls into that trap

    Review your answers to
    the discovery questions above
    and revise your vision statement

The "make others care" vision trap:

    Your vision is written
    to impress others,
    not offend others, etc.

         Don't do it just for this course!!

    Keep your vision your
    secret if need be,
    and make it yours!

       Revise your vision accordingly as needed

Now make any adjustments you like to your vision:

Got a vision that speaks to you?

   Put it in your wallet

[put bag of scissors in this serial number. bring to class so they can cut out a wallet sized paper]

   Stick it to your fridge

   Tattoo it on yourself

       - Just kidding:

         visions can
         change over time

On Important Things (ch. 4)

Some things are
more important
than others!

   Seems obvious, but...

   It is easy to get sidetracked

   Focus on the important things

       The more important it is,
       the more time and energy it deserves

       The less important it is,
       the less time and energy it deserves

your vision now

There is 
and then there are

A strategic "issue":

    A challenge requiring
    effort to meet that
    stands in the way of your vision

   Other effort sinks are not
   as strategically important

   It's not always easy
   to tell the difference!

       Here is how, though

       List your major challenges/issues
       (current or anticipated soon):
(examples - p. 66-7)


      Next, label each major issue with
         "U" if urgent
               (needs action now)
        "NU" if not urgent

     Next, label each major issue with
         "I" if important
              (to you in overall life)
         "NI" if not important

     Now, look at just
     issues that are:

         Order them in priority
         (1 = highest priority)

Review & reality check        

     For each challenge/issue:

        What would happen if I let it go? (Ignored it)

       Reassess what is really

           "I" (important)


          "U" (urgent)

      Now re-number
      the priorities of
      the remaining
     "I" + "U" items

     Recheck your vision:
     any changes needed?

2. Operational Phase (ch. 610)

What to do about the challenges?

    1. Identify your skills and resources

    2. Figure out how to apply
        them to the challenges

    Here's where we move to planning!

    Some skills&resources:

        Other people
        Anything else
        About time:

             Most people waste a lot of it

             If you waste less,
             you have more left
                - for your vision

                  There's the obvious

                      TV, etc.

                      any others?

              ...and the less obvious

                      time spent on unnecessary busyness

                      Any examples?

              A welcome thought:

                      "Getting your future right
                       might mean doing less
                       not doing more!" -p. 79

                       No need to become an ascetic
                             Less TV is better than more

                             Zero is not essential

    About money:

        is there some way to need less?

        many projects have used kickstarter.com

Making the rubber meet the road

     For each strategic issue ("I"&"U"):

        list the skills, talents, & resources
        needed to handle it

            Even if you don't have them

   Label each strategic issue's
   skills, talents, & resources with:

        Which skills, talents, & resources

            you have ("H")    
           you could develop ("CD")

           are not available ("NA")

    Now label them with where you could get them
    (yourself, family, school, wherever it is)

    Are any skills/talents/resources stretched too thin? (p. 86)

           you might need to
           relabel an "H" as a
          "CD" or even "NA"

          now re-prioritize:

             Which issues/challenges are
             most powerful
             in getting to your vision?

                   Renumber their priories as needed

(at ch. 7, p. 91)

Recall the process:

1) Strategic phase

      Figure out a vision for your future

2) Operational phase

      Figure out how to attain your vision

      I would call it "tactical phase"

          Strategy first, tactics second

3) Execution phase

      Do things to get to the vision

4) Evolution phase

      Rethink and adjust
      strategy, tactics and
      activities over time

Where we are:

     You have a list of strategic issues

        These are things
        to deal with that will
        help you get

                closer to your vision

     Review (or reconstruct) the list now

Next, process the list (again):


           Busyness doesn't mean progress

           We want to find out
           what items lead to progress

    Star each item for which:

           If you respond to it now,
           it will get you
           closer to the vision

   Are there any items that:

           Need to be handled
           to enable a
           other(s) to be handled?

           Circle them

           These are key prerequisites

                "Core" strategic issues

                Stepping stones to
                other strategic issues

                Foundational building blocks

  If you could address
  only one strategic issue:

       Which one would it be?

       That one is a good one to
       do something about right away!

A few more words on being busy

     People often don't get it:

          Being busy can be wasted time

          Maybe relaxing is better

               Rest up for the important stuff!

    Examples of people not getting it:

          Author's anecdote about
          always carrying a file
          when on duty (p. 96)

          If you can see the
          back of someone's head
          they are being productive

                What about telecommuting?

Tactics: operational plans (ch. 8)

You have identified capabilities:

     For each strategic issue:

        list the skills, talents, & resources
        needed to handle it)

For each key strategic issue:

      Take a page and fill out a chart

      1. The strategic issue

      2. Capabilities
          (skills, talents, resources)

      3. Strategic action
          (What you can do)

      4. Resources allocated

          You have only so much
         of these -

             How much will you use
             for this strategic action?

   (Example - p. 100)

   Do it for your
   core strategic issues,

   You can't do everything at once!

       Write an estimated
       Start and
       End date
       for each core strategic issue

Expectation Management (ch. 9)

Your vision might be to
be a famous sports star

     Good luck
     ...but have a backup vision

Write down how well
your vision
can also be
an expectation

    If it is hard to expect:

       Is there a more expectable

              alternative version
              of your vision?

              alternative vision?

              way to make a vision
              more expectable?

                   E.g. personal development

                   Example p. 106-7

Your current status (ch. 10)

     Let's take stock of
     where you are in your plan!

         (List on p. 112-3)

The next phase is executing the plan

3. Execution Phase (ch. 1115)

The following could some day be part of a HW:

Building Your Personal Future
1. ("Do"). Based on your work on this topic, identify something that will progress you toward your vision, such as a strategic action that helps address a strategic issue, such as a core strategic issue that is a prerequisite to others. (On your blog, simply note if you succeeded on this question, but don't put the answer there.)

2. ("Monitor"). Consider the results of 1. How well did it work, or is it working now? If well, then you are on track. If instead any problems of any kind arose, see 3.  (On your blog, note if it worked or not, but don't put what it was.)

3. ("Accountability"). If step 2. above worked, reward yourself! If things did not go as well as hoped for, analyze why and what you could do to circumvent them. Take notes on this for future reference. (On your blog, note the result of this question in general terms, but don't put any details.)

4. (Optional) Repeat steps 1 through 3.

5. (Optional) Keep on repeating, good luck, and remember to smell the flowers!

4. Evolution Phase (ch. 1617)

Learn from your experiences up to now

Adjust as needed to continue forward