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How to use Proactivity & Innovation to Become Future Ready

By Anthony Taylor - August 26, 2020

Meet Nick Davis, our newest guest on the Strategy & Leadership Podcast! Nick is:

  • the Managing Partner at Reaching the Future Faster
  • the author of Future Ready
  • the Faculty Chair of Innovation at Singularity University
  • the Chief Platform Officer for the largest food bank in Ohio, the Mid-Ohio Food Collective
  • Venture Partner at Bold Capital

Although Nick wears an impressive amount of hats, there are a couple common themes in his work, which involve using advanced technology and strategy to navigate uncertainty, determine the future of work, and solve the double-pronged problem of food waste and food shortage.

Nick acknowledges the extreme unpredictability of the world we live in, yet believes it's within our power to build the future we want using a common vision of the future, advanced technology, and a proactive mindset.

Some of the topics of our discussion include:

  • Having an aligned vision of the future

Nick believes that market trends, globalization analyses, and typical 5 year scenario planning will only get you so far, and that we instead need to be looking 15 years into the future when developing a common vision. Today's leaders need to be comfortable laying out that vision, along with showing individuals how they will fit into that future, and how their new role will benefit themselves and the organization. 


If you're starting the strategic planning process, make sure you're asking the right questions:



  • Balancing strategic thinking with action planning

During our conversation, Nick expresses his belief that we all need to be able to toggle back and forth between strategic thinking and action planning. In years past, large organizations would often separate those two types of thinking, however, the world is simply moving too quickly today, and requires us all to be able to zoom in and out. Nick also goes deeper to explain how we can go about developing this skill of zooming in and out and how we can be more proactive.


  • On being innovative and proactive

Nick shares a story from his time working at PWC, when they created the 'Stop Doing Challenge'. The challenge involved incentivizing an innovation team to see how many redundant processes or unnecessary things could be stopped within an organization. Nick explains that innovation is simply finding a better way to do things, and doesn't necessarily have to be the newest, most expensive and high-tech product.

  • On managing disruption

Lastly, Nick discusses disruption, and the importance of having the right mindset to either ride the waves of disruption or create your own waves or disruption. In today's fast-paced world, simply punching a time card and flying under the radar is not an option. Member of an organization, leaders included, will have to embrace a proactive mindset in order to stay competitive.


Get your team aligned and on the same page:

Access our Goal Setting Guide & Worksheet


For more information about Nick's work and his book, visit www.fasterfuture.org.

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