How to develop Vision - ability to see, adapt and plan for future trends
Where there is no vision people perish
What is he single attribute that separates the Homo sapiens from other species? I think it's their ability to act on information differently form other species. What do I mean by this? They are more intelligent. Therefore they are able to perceive information, process the information and act on the information so as to either maintain their status quo or make progress based on the outcome of such information. Hence they have the ability to see patterns of information and make sense of these patterns of informations. This is the hallmark of intelligent behavior.
What does it mean to have vision? It's essentially one area where we can apply our intelligence. It's the ability to anticipate consequences, adapt to changes and plan for the future. from this definition three things are important:
- Ability to anticipate consequences - cause and effect
- Adapt to changes - manage change
- Plan or the future - see future trends
From the foregoing it's clear that developing vision is a skill that can be acquired and it's an important discipline in leadership development. It's not just being able to have the knowlegge that will play into the future that haveing the skills and abilities to use those information to prepare way into the future .
Having vision have been metaphorically likened as playing a game of chess in four dimensions - one of such being time.
In this article I'll describe ways to develop these attributes as well as the implication of such gifts in our professional and personal developement.
Ability to anticipate consequences - cause and effect
Vision is necessary in decision making and also in being able to see the consequences of such decisions. What are the qualities of good decision makers? They are able to see well into the future - the ability to predict the impact of such decision on their personal live or that of organisation. The CEO of companies are paid because of their skill in their ability to have vision. Hence it's a sure way to exhibit intelligence - the capacity y to plan ahead and visualize the consequences - or possible alternatives.
There are three things to focus on in decision making - the things you focus on, how you process the information and the action you take with the information.
Adapt to changes - manage change
Change process is a normal process ware we know it or not. In intelligence terms, the ability for forward planning is closely ties to the ability to learn from the past experience. What we learn from the past is linked to the present and the present to the future. It's like the present is linked to the past and future and in terms to time line there are linked together in the form of a fan. Another way you can look at it is to imagine hovering in a helicopter and seeing your life spread out below you. This 'helicopter view' according to Ron Bracy puts things in perspective, allowing you to appreciate how the past and present fit into the bigger picture of the future.
In being able to understand vision you need to understand the past, and how the present was impacted by the past and how the whole experience might plan into the future. We can't predict the future, but through the present experience we have understand the patterns of the present experience and intentionally plan for the future. This is an intelligent decision.
Plan or the future - see future trends
Your mind can be trained in the discipline of seeing the way the future events could plan out and begin to make plan to cushion it. This does not mean that the unforeseen will not occur but that it is possible to train your mind to see the way more clearly.
The following ideas have been advanced by Ron Bracy in his book IQ Power Up:
- developing the ability to marshal facts and distinguish the important from the unimportant
- Being able to develop skills in big picture thinking and to appreciate how the small detail form part of the big picture
- recognizing how to to apply what you already know to new circumstances or problems
- learning when logical deduction points the way forward and when intuition or gut feelings should be noted. A good information on tis can been seen in Six Hats thinking developed by Edward de Bono.
Blue Hat (sky) the big picture overviewRed Hat (fire) emotion, intuition and feelingYellow hat (sun) positive thinking, praise and reason why something wil workGreen Hat (plant)` creative thinking, where everything goes and nothing is censoredWhite Hat (blank sheet) purely the facts, figures and detailsBlack Hat (judge's robe) critical thinking, judgement and the negatives - why something won't work
- visualizing knock on effect of different outcomes
Remenber knowing all these strategies means nothing unless you take action on your decision. Taking action will translate your vision, dream or idea to success. Again, time is a very important attribute in vision development.