As a student of strategic foresight, you learn that there are multiple futures. Typically, you learn about the preferable, probable, plausible and possible futures; however, I noticed that something was missing – the Purposeful Future.
A Purposeful Future is the path we choose to pursue with conscious intent because it is both significant and meaningful.
This is a major miss! How do I know this? The findings of my own research research on entrepreneurial learners and leaders repeatedly reveal one major finding – people are motivated by personal fulfillment and purpose. People are guided by a sense of purpose in the workplace and when buying products and services.
Purpose shapes everything in leadership and life – from our buying decisions to the ways in which we interact with colleagues and take care of ourselves. Research continues to demonstrate that people live longer, happier and healthier lives when they have a purpose.
Last week, I delivered a two-hour, online workshop for a government agency that is preparing its leaders for life after COVID, including the conflicts they might face in the workplace if people return to physical offices. We explored how conflict can be both counterproductive and productive. We also explored what they need to prepare for in 2021 – because change will continue to keep happening throughout the year.
The purpose of conflict was explored throughout the session. We also shared tools leaders and supervisors can use to help navigate the unchartered waters of 2021. More on that in a future post!
While coaching and teaching, I have noticed that thinking too far into the future is really challenging for leaders right now. Instead – my clients are focusing on 2021.
One of my coaching questions for clients lately has been this: Where do you want to be at the end of 2021?
It is not totally necessary for leaders to have only a long-term vision right now. Rather, many of them want to focus on the present as they create their future with intention and purpose, which is a fantastic step forward.
“Where” is the first step in the WILD Method of Strategic Foresight and Leadership. Download and use the Future Story 2021 strategic foresight coaching tool to help guide yourself and your teams through this important first step in creating a Purposeful Future.
Dr. Bill Auxier, host of the Rural Health Leadership Radio podcast, invited me to be the last guest of 2020 on his very successful and informative show. We talk about factors influencing the future of healthcare, including the longevity economy and Purposeful Future. So, what exactly is a Purposeful Future?
Purposeful Future: The desired future we choose to pursue with conscious intent because it is both significant and meaningful.
What’s Next? The Importance of a Purposeful Future in 2021
One of the questions I continue to get almost daily is: What is next? My answer: Take some time to develop a Purposeful Future for yourself and/or your company. COVID has been a monumental wildcard. It has changed the trajectory of the future, so now is the perfect time to create the future you truly desire. We have seen the importance of living, working and earning with purpose in meaning in 2020 – and this megatrend will not slow down anytime soon.
Please take some time to listen to this episode of the Rural Health Leadership Radio podcast to learn more! And, contact me if you are ready to create and pursue your Purposeful Future!
Rural Health Leadership Radio with Dr. Bill Auxier
In this final episode of 2020, we are honored to have Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild as a guest. Dr. Connie shares her perspective on several timely leadership topics: the impact of history on the future, purposeful futures, systems thinking, and leadership of the future.
“My research on leaders repeatedly revealed one major finding; people are motivated by personal fulfillment and purpose.”
— Dr. Connie
Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, Wild Innovation’s Founder and Chief Futurist, is on a mission to help leaders and organizations intentionally create a more prosperous future in the exploding longevity economy, which is expected to be valued at $28.2 trillion by 2050.
Prior to launching Wild Innovation as a full-time venture, Dr. Connie worked at the University of Nebraska for twenty-five years. In her last position at the University, she served as the Executive Director (Interim) and Chief Futurist for the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska where she published an invited journal article, strategic foresight, leadership, and the future of rural healthcare staffing in the United States https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916469/, which was the first of its kind published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA).
Dr. Connie is a Certified Futurist, Professional Coach, and Gallup Strengths Coach with a doctorate in Human Sciences and Leadership Studies. She loves firewalking, snow sledding, swimming with sharks, and spending time with her family.
Mental health and overall well-being are essential to thriving families, businesses, communities and organizations. It has been both an honor and a pleasure to research, explore and learn more about the incredible field of mental health with administrators and faculty leading the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute. This two-year journey provided me with new tools and techniques, which I now use in my practice. I also shared new ideas and exercises, which they use in their work. Best of all? This wonderful gift provided me with new perspectives related to the intersections between mental health, leadership development, mindfulness and coaching. The learner in me was so jazzed when discovering these connections. Bonus! This partnership also provided me with access to cutting edge research and applications that I now use to support my clients!
Leading Innovation in 2020 and Beyond
One of the areas our team has been focused on is leading innovation. The monumental wildcard of COVID has forced universities, as well as every other sector of business, to change. This requires both bold leadership and the capacity to collaborate in innovative ways that can help us create a purposeful future that may be totally different than where we were heading before 2020.
If you would like more information on how lead innovation and create collaboration in the era of constant change and challenge we are experiencing right now, then contact Wild Innovation for additional resources. We are here to help create a more prosperous future for everyone!
Leadership and life are intertwined like never before, which means intentionally creating the future is more important than ever. Use this coaching tool to help create a purposeful future as well as the mindset you need to achieve it.
This tool is especially useful if you are in a time of transition personally or as a team in a larger organization. Times of chaos and change can cause tremendous stress; however, they can also be the perfect time to innovate and choose which future you want to pursue.
Download the form today and start with –
Step One: Describe the future you truly intend to pursue.
Be as vivid as possible, and use extra paper if needed! Next, move on to –
Step Two: What one belief must you either develop or let go of to make your purposeful future a reality?
Download the form by clicking on the link below and give it a try!
For the past year, I have had the good fortune of working with faculty who focus on mental health. Dr. Matthew Wappett is the Executive Director of the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities (UCEDD) – also known as the “Laughter Doctor :). Dr. Ty Aller is a Senior Program Coordinator for for UCEDD. They are both part of a team focused on growing the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute.
I loved one of the recent Instagram posts because it clearly demonstrates the connections between our minds and our bodies. Mental health transforms our physical health. About fifteen years ago, I read The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton. His book was my first introduction to the field of epigenetics. I studied genetics in graduate school but never heard of the word epigenetics until I found his work. Dr. Lipton began is career as cell biologist. His research around the mind-body-health connection is truly remarkable and is worth reading/watching/listening to if you are interested in how your thoughts transform your body and your life. I like to use his work in my personal life but also for my clients because thoughts are so powerful!
Working with prolific leaders who focus on mental health has enabled me to learn from experts who helped me refine my own tools, ideas and thoughts. And, I have been able to share my knowledge with them too -what a blast! Follow the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center if you would like to learn more about their work or if you are interested in improving mental health:
Webinars in October!
I am co-teaching webinars with Drs. Wappett and Aller in October. The schedule is below. I will share more details about both webinars in the next few weeks. I also wanted to share some of the content their organizations create to help all of you understand and improve your own mental health.
My role in the project has been focused on developing content and tools designed to help coach mental health leaders and professionals with a focus on innovation and the future. Why? Like many professions, COVID has been a huge wildcard for mental health researchers and practitioners. Their work is more important than ever but the ways in which they collaborate, share, train, coach and assist others has changed and will continue to evolve. They are creating next generation mental health innovations, which is super exciting!!
Zoom fatigue and burnout are real things, so I promise to add a little activity and fun to the mix! Mark you calendars and register for the remaining webinars by going by clicking on the image below. I look “forward” to seeing some of you there!
Looking for Something Different?
I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you want to learn more about or what would like help doing as you create your desired future while having more fun 🙂 Your insights, questions and ideas are what drives my creativity and content. Use the form below to send me your burning questions, coaching needs and innovative ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!
It may be time for a fresh start. Clients have been reaching out to me because they are stressed and wondering what to do next. The uncertainty created by the COVID-19 situation is a challenge for businesses and leaders. How can you possibly create a bright future right now?
In face-to-face workshops, I really enjoy watching my clients jump over fresh start lines after they have decided to pivot and move in a different direction. Now is the time to jump over that line if what you are doing is not working.
We have made a lot of changes in our house too. Growing a business while helping kids with their new normal of remote learning at home is a total mind bender. One of our dogs died, and we closed on a house that we were in the process of buying before this all happened. We also received very difficult news about two loved ones that are struggling with health issues. It has been hard and more than a little depressing.
Through all of the challenge and stress, there is hope and opportunity.
For example, I had to give myself permission to hold off on launching the online version of F*school while also expanding my client base to serve those who are in need. The challenge was putting my almost completed F*School on hold so I could move into the opportunity of helping more clients. My personal philosophy is to serve the immediate needs of existing or new clients first while developing products requested by future clients.
If you need to create a fresh start for yourself, or your business, then do it. Today, or any day, is the perfect time to do something different, experiment with ideas and reconnect with yourself and the clients.
If you are having a hard time dealing with the need for constant change and need a mindset shift, then let me know. The experienced coaches I know and admire are all adding clients in an effort to help individuals and organizations navigate this rollercoaster of a ride we seem to be on right now.
Give yourself permission to create a fresh start! If you need help, please let me know. I am here for you. If I am not the right fit, I will help you find someone who is.
We will get through this, and there are opportunities out there – for people at every age and stage of life. Let’s create joy and hope in the world again. It’s time.
I am currently working on a day-long, customized strategic foresight and leadership curriculum for the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) National Training Center’s National Leadership Institute. MHDD’s National Training Center is a collaboration between the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kentucky, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Utah State University.
One of the topics we will focus on is creating and leading what I call a Purposeful Future. This is a pivot from the preferred future I have learned about and talked about for years. Why? Years of my research, and that of many others, continues to reveal the importance of purpose.
Too many people keep their desires inside of them. They unwittingly pursue the Purposeless Future. This is the future that “just happens” because people opt to stay on the hamster wheel of life rather than taking the time to develop and pursue a purposeful future that they truly desire.
A clear sense of purpose this is especially important for women, as well as businesses, looking to reinvent themselves, innovate or create a different future than the one they think the present will support. Purpose is associated with longevity, health, vitality and the ability to innovate.
Which future are you choosing to pursue right now? Have you been purposeful in the pursuit of your future? Or, are you running default mode?? There is no judgment here! I have, and still do, struggle to get out of default mode – especially when life gets overly busy!
I would really enjoy learning from those who are pursuing their Purposeful Futures with wild abandon! Why did you decide to approach your life and/or business with purpose? How do you approach the intentional creation of a Purposeful Future?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Go Wild with Your Purposeful Future!
PS: Enjoy the article (below) by Singularity University’s Chipp Norcross. I completed a professional development certification with Singularity a couple of years ago and like to study their strategic foresight research and ideas for the future.
Is Purpose A Company’s Best Protection Against Disruption? – Singularity University
Are you optimizing for the industry you think you’re in, or for the actual service you’re providing to your customers? Your answer could indicate how likely it is that your company might be disrupted, notes SU’s Chipp Norcross.
The end of the year – and in this case the beginning of a new decade – is a great time to take stock of where you have been and where you want to go!
Milestones in time create the ideal moments to clear the challenges of the past, celebrate our wonderful memories and launch our dreams. Listen to your internal compass. Maybe you have been feeling stuck or have an internal knowing that it is time to do something different. If so, it is time to give yourself permission to consciously create and pursue the future you truly desire.
One of the first lessons we cover in F * School is giving ourselves permission to do whatever we truly want to experience, try or pursue on the path to our preferred future – the future we truly desire.
I have noticed the need to “give permission” in both individuals and in organizations, so I created a lesson to address this need. Many people tend to keep themselves mentally stuck or wait for someone else to give them permission to move forward with an idea, project or vacation (Yes-sometimes leaders really struggle with taking time off to recharge and renew).
I have been guilty of choosing to stay stuck at times. My amazing executive coach, Elise Auxier, pointed this out to me as I transitioned from my job to my business. Instead of waiting for some external person or force to give me permission to leave a long-time career that was no longer serving me, I had to take ownership of my life and do it myself. It took a series of bold, baby steps. And, it took a lot of support. Ultimately, I had to be the one to take action. I gave myself permission every step of the way. Was it always easy? No. Has it been totally worth it? Yes!
The process of giving yourself permission to move forward with your dreams and desires can be especially important if you are going through a time of change or transformation. I used the Permission Slip several times to help with my midlife metamorphosis. It took me a year to leave the place I had been at for twenty-five years. As a mentioned earlier, it was a process of bold, baby steps. It has taken some time; however, I am finally emerging as the person I have always wanted to truly become.
Give yourself permission to take steps forward, no matter how big or small, to experience your dreams and desires. Don’t choose to pursue what I call the Purposeless Future.
The Purposeless Future
Too many people keep their desires inside of them. They pursue what I call the Purposeless Future. This is the future that “just happens” because people opt to stay on the hamster wheel of life rather than taking the time to develop and pursue a purposeful future that they truly desire.
The future is not a straight path forward. Rather, there are many alternative futures. In the world of strategic foresight (futuring), we us a tool called the Cone of Possibilities to help people understand this concept. In the cone, there are multiple futures that can be described as:
Preferred: The desired future we choose to pursue
Possible: The wide range of events and possibilities over the course of time
Plausible: Futures that are possible but unlikely
Probable: Events and future scenarios that are likely to happen
Purposeless: The future that occurs without conscious intention
There are also two key assumptions about the future:
There are multiple futures. It is important to clarify your preferred future through a visioning process; however, you must also be willing to change course when necessary. Remember, life is not simply about achieving in the future — it is also about enjoying the present.
You influence the future through your true intent. Once you establish your preferred future, you must develop the beliefs, behaviors, mindset and actions to make it happen. If you do not truly believe in your preferred future, you will not consciously or subconsciously pursue it with true intent.
The Power of Honest Intentions
Our honest intentions are naturally supported by our beliefs and actions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome — they become your future. Your intentions serve as motivation and the source of actions and behaviors. Setting and pursuing false intentions can lead to a lack of interest and motivation, which typically ends in feelings of failure and self-doubt. Feelings of failure and self-doubt can seriously erode confidence and our sense of self-empowerment and success. Be genuine about your desired future and your intent to pursue it. If you honestly and consciously establish your true intentions, your beliefs, behaviors and mindset will align to create the outcome.
Dealing with Wild Cards
Sometimes, we experience Wild Cards — those unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that can impact our present and future. We might lose a job or have an unexpected health emergency. We might inherit a large sum of money or land a big client.
Wild Cards are a part of life, and we have to learn to deal with what comes our way.
Life is Not a Straight Line
There is no straight line to any future. As leaders of our own lives, it is important to take risks, learn from the challenges and celebrate the successes. Our preferred futures may ultimately look and feel a little different than we imagined; however, they may be even better than what our minds are capable of creating!
The Pace of Change
Wild Cards are unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that we must deal with throughout the course of our lives; however, we are also living in a time of unprecedented change. Not only is technology evolving faster than ever – life is too. We are living longer and experiencing careers and families differently than ever before. We also feel like we need to always be “on” as we are constantly bombarded with the demands of life. This is especially true for people who are creating new ways of living and working.
All of this change can feel overwhelming and cause stress that undermines your potential. Don’t give into the hype! Change will continue to happen. The intention here is to create the positive change, and preferred future, that works best for you and your life. So, get give yourself permission to pursue your desired future!
WIN with Action!
Giving yourself permission to pursue your dream future is not about striving, working hard or struggling to make it happen. It is about the freedom to make decisions that work best for you. This exercise is about exploring how you personally WIN, and by WIN I mean let the process feel —
W = Wild = Free, Fulfilling and Fun!
You have the freedom to choose how to spend your life. Put your ego, external validation and the thoughts of others aside so you can be totally free and honest with yourself. Let your transformation be guided by self-honesty, personal fulfillment joy and fun!
I = Inspired = Explore with Energy and Excitement!
Anytime is a great time to explore new possibilities, so pursue your desired future in a way that gives you energy and feels exciting! If you are feeling a bit stuck, start asking yourself some questions designed to increase your self-awareness:
Where does your energy naturally flow?
What saps your energy?
What do you want to let go of doing, feeling or thinking?
What have you always wanted to do but have not yet tried?
This should be a process of experimenting and exploring. Remember, your true intentions will naturally lead to inspired actions.
N = Natural= Totally You.
Have you ever tried on a piece of clothing, looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow! This looks amazing!” It fit perfectly and the color made your face light up naturally. That is what the “N” in WIN should feel and be like. Write, do and explore what feels totally and completely like you. What comes to you without thinking about it? What have you been covering up or avoiding that is begging to be set free? What comes to you naturally — without effort or striving? What makes you feel alive and excited — taps into your intuition (that inner wisdom we all possess) and aligns with your soul?
It’s Time to WIN!
Download and complete the Permission Slip below. Take the time to give yourself permission to consciously create your future and experience your life by taking big leaps or bold, baby steps. Do whatever you need to do to give yourself permission to WIN and pursue your desired future!
Use extra Permission Slips if you need them. After you finish giving yourself permission to take consciously create your future by intentionally taking action, share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below! What steps did you decide to take? How did it feel? Whatever you want to share is absolutely welcome!
I look forward to hearing what you gave yourself permission to do, feel and experience to make your desired future a reality!
I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Dierdre Breakenridge. Dierdre is a PR guru, entrepreneur, teacher, author and awesome person! Learn more about Dierdre and her work by going to her web site: https://www.deirdrebreakenridge.com/
We had a million things we could have talked about in this episode of Women Worldwide; however, we ended up talking about futuring, the importance of a vision and how to have fun while pursuing your desired future! Check out this episode Women Worldwide and join Deirdre’s mission to advance a global conversation designed to help women succeed in business and in life.
Futuring – What is it and Why Do You Need It In Your Business?
Want to start thinking like a Futurist? Then, try this Dream Life 2025 coaching exercise!
I developed this exercise for people who listen to the Leaders of Transformation podcast with Nicole Jansen. Strategic foresight is now a core leadership competency, and Nicole and I had a great chat about how all of us can develop a futurist mindset.
If you are going to think like a Futurist, then it is important to focus on your own future first! This exercise is designed to do just that-help you think about your ideal future. This same type of exercise can be done with teams, departments or even whole organizations. Give it a try and let me know what your dream future looks, feels and even smells like!
It is important to clarify and begin living like you have already achieved your ideal future if you are truly going to achieve it. There are multiple futures, and the outcome that actually occurs happens because of both your mindset and the methodologies you use to get there.