Futures in Action
We help businesses articulate the future they want to grow—both long and short term.
This means growth across the full spectrum of the organization:
growth in the workforce
growth in customer base
growth in communities
growth that transitions from one generation to the other
growth that transitions from the founding generation of a family-owned business to the next generation
In order to realize that growth, our clients must shift their way of “being” in business.
Applied Futurists in Action
We help clients move beyond limitations shaped by a fixed mindset of the past.
We encourage them to act from a future based perspective— taking action from the future that they want, which is clearly separate from the past, or from where they currently are.
Learning to take action daily from their declared future while being in alignment with their mission and values is critical to the success of their growth. We find that clients that are consistently engaging from a long term future are ultimately more sustainable, and achieve results faster.
In order to accomplish this, we work with them to become a mission-based organization where everyone is able to lead from their mission, values, and long-term future.
Here are examples of how we have helped our clients get results based on the future they want.
Securing an Agricultural Business for the Next Generation
When James took over the family-owned multi-generational agricultural business, he was 28. Many of the people for whom he was now in charge knew him since he was nine. Part of our work was to assist those employees to see him as a viable, accomplished person that could take the business through the next 20 to 40 years.
Through a series of discussions about the future and strategic planning with the whole team, everyone has become aligned with the future of this business and with James. The result is that the whole organization was able to see him as a viable leader of the company, and started to engage with him and be in action around the long term future that James had envisioned.
Today, the business is no longer stuck, has increased its sales every year since he’s taken the helm, and continues to be vital and healthy as it thrives in its declared future.
Getting Their Mojo Back – The Highly Successful Winery
A highly successful family-owned winery was beginning a generational transition to their 2nd generation, and asked us to assist them. We worked in collaboration and partnership with both generations at the same time in order to have a very successful transition for all involved.
We began early in the transition process, and engaged in determining where they would need to go next, and also handle all the grief and loss that is inherent in “letting go.” This required in-depth work dealing with both generations at the same time.
Recently, they were publicly recognized in a distinguished wine magazine about how the new generation in the business got their “mojo” back. That’s an accomplishment. They are rocking and rolling and making excellent decisions.
The transition continues to be very successful, with continued growth. The strategies to reach milestones formulated at the beginning of the transition have been achieved, and they are now developing the next phase of their future, which included preparing the 3rd generation.
The Credit Union Where Everyone Leads the Future
We worked extensively with a credit union to shift the way they lead, follow, communicate, and engage with their future. They integrated their new practices into the entire organization, both deep and wide.
Now, their breakthrough way of leading and communicating is unlike any other organization in their industry. They have a communication promise to engage by talking to each other not about each other, eliminate gossip, and lead their future. They actively practice this promise amongst 700 staff members.
The credit union has a deep commitment to hire internally when a position opens up. To prepare people for a holistic understanding of the organization, many employees are given temporary assignments in another part of the company. Some of their branch managers traded places for six weeks last year so that their people could get different experience and a deeper understanding of how the organization works.
As a result of their leadership practices, the organization has developed integral leaders that thrive both in moments of uncertainty and moments of opportunity. Where some in the credit union industry have difficulty looking beyond the past and how they’ve always done it, this company works from the future, for both themselves and their members. They are known for their innovation and exceptional member services. They are all accomplished leaders.
A Small Educational Company That Grew to Have a Huge Impact
Years ago we started with a small company consisting of just two people in a little office in Portland. After extensive work with us, they grew to a national company that significantly impacted millions of kids through curriculum development.
Starting with just 300 kids, they quickly grew to serve millions. They came to us because they wanted help in promotion, and we worked with them to develop a high growth cycle and a leadership environment that would later attract the best talent.
A Star in Manufacturing
A precision machining company in Silicon Valley has been one of our longest clients. The company started out of a small workshop with two people and quickly grew to about 48 employees. Now they are a multi-million dollar business that outsources work to over 80 different companies.
Highly regarded in Silicon Valley, they also work internationally with companies in the United Kingdom and Taiwan, and are one of the few precision machining plants in California that is as large and successful as they are. In a span of 30 years, they have had sustained profitability in many economic cycles.
From Hardly Known to Best-Sellers
One of our long-term clients is a book publisher that went from no money to becoming absolutely wealthy. We guided them to learn what it meant to be a business, and how to put form and function to a future and believe in it. In short, we helped them define their roles and accountabilities, clarify their business and keep it intact.
Now they are one of the largest independent publishing companies in the United States.
Key Influencers in the Healthcare Industry
We continue to stand with a long-term client in the health industry as the business model of health care and health insurance has changed. Predominantly in the Medicaid market, half of their client-base are kids.
With in-depth work, we helped them ask themselves: how do you lead a vision where everyone is leading?
Starting with no members, they now have over 110,000 and help influence policy in their industry locally, statewide, and nationally.