A framework is a set of rules or principles that you use to define a decision making process. It identifies boundaries so that you can find a place to start. The Futures Framework is exactly the same, only using a vision of the future to frame a starting place instead of being constrained by the current reality. We don’t want our experience in 2020 to constrain what the future could be, do we? This is why it’s so important to gain a different perspective.
Based on our extensive work developing strategies and futures for businesses, churches and nonprofits, we developed the Futures Framework to help you assess what’s changing and what you need to do in response to it. It is a proactive, intentional approach to help you benefit from futures thinking to create transformational change. Exploring futures is more than merely an educational exercise or discussion topic that enables leaders to deal with uncertainty. We believe it’s critical for your organization, church, or ministry’s survival.
The Futures Framework helps us explore:
In our culture, how we self-identify as individuals has never been more controversial than today, particularly when it comes to issues of gender, ethnicity, affiliation, and vocation. What does this mean when we let others decide our identity? Or, even more often, when we don’t question how our identity was formed?
Our drive to relate to others is strong and compelling. We have an innate desire to experience intimate and meaningful relationships with one another. How can relationships be deepened and relevant in a time of social distancing? What does authentic connection look like?
Relationships drive belonging – which becomes complex in an age of isolation. What does it take to create and nurture a sense of belonging? Does it require physical proximity? Does it need consistency of communication or meaningful exchanges of support and love? How do we live this out in our churches and organizations?
Many of us have assumptions about where and why our communities come together. What does this look like when almost everything is online? How is the distinction between local and global being redefined in a world where everything’s connected? More importantly, what does this mean for our customers, our partners, our members?
The day in, day out work of leaders is to solve problems facing their communities. As we architect our futures, we learn how to respond to the forces driving change by putting yourself in the shoes of those we serve. What are the expectations they have and we have? And how can we better meet them?
None of us can do it alone. Who cares about the same goals we care about? Who serves the same populations or shares the same objectives? Technology has enabled collaboration at an unprecedented speed and scale. Who can we co-labor with to create something we can’t create alone?
Size is not the measure of success – but almost every initiative could impact more people and communities than we imagine. How can we invite others to contribute to our purpose, and start a movement using technology?
By connecting communities and initiatives that share a common purpose, we can accomplish previously unimaginable things. Impact isn’t about the size of our business or the splash we can make in our city. It’s about how we can fulfill God’s purposes for us and for the things He’s called us to.
Each intersection is detailed in a chapter of What Comes Next? As you work through the eight questions at the intersections of the four key forces, you are encouraged to consider how what you have learned applies to your situation, dream about what could happen in the future, pray about what God says about it, write down your plan and get to work making it happen. Navigating the changing world and envisioning a better future is more than merely an educational exercise or discussion topic for leaders. We believe it’s critical for your organization, church, or ministry’s survival.
Are you ready to move forward into the future? The Futures Framework can help you chart your path as you navigate the uncharted waters ahead.