Inner leaders engage in “problem-finding” more than problem-solving activities.
They select and consistently pay attention to the tasks and values they want and need. This focusing—of self and work community members— is a major inner leadership technique.
Inner leaders develop and articulate a horizon goal, a clear, attractive, compelling view of what life, their work situation, and the individuals involved can or should be like.
Horizon thinking synthesizes, vocalizes, and translates the leader’s aspirations into community aspirations.
Horizon thinking is a process these leaders use to create continuously a successful future for the work community.
Horizon thinking provides both leader and led with new perspectives from which to view their work, their operating systems, and their longer-term goals and outcome objectives.
Horizon thinking involves the leader in creating a future for the work community rather than letting the future just happen.
Creating a community’s future involves seeking out and understanding the forces for change in the immediate work community, the larger corporation, and the broader cultural environments surrounding the work community.
From data obtained by scanning these environments, inner leaders develop a picture of the work community thriving in the vortex of the change forces identified.
The futures statement is a clear, compelling statement of what the work community should be and do in the future.
Sharing the future involves the leader in communication to persuade, to change the values and the behavior of stakeholders to conform to the future.
Strategic planning is also a mechanism for identifying critical issues that face the work community as it moves toward its future.
How often do I link the changes the office is going through now with the changes it will have to face in the future?
What are the basic assumptions underlying horizon thinking?
Do I include recognition of the major larger cultural forces that may impact any horizon thinking I might do to help prepare my work community for the future?
Someone has said that the leader can “create” a future for his or her organization. Do you believe this is true? Why? Why not?
List several obstacles inner leaders face as they try to create a unique future for their work community that may differ from that set for the corporation or by other communities to which the leader’s community is linked. How do these factors affect the leader’s success in horizon thinking?