Do not fight the future - EMBRACE IT

The future will always arrive! Feeling paralyzed in the present or ignoring the force of change is futile.

Daniel Egger

7/24/20193 min read

The future will always arrive! Feeling paralyzed in the present or ignoring the force of change is futile. Different winners and losers will emerge, and we must decide on which side we belong.

As individuals, organizations, and members of society, we assume the role we want to play. New realities will present inspiration, risk, and opportunity. Yet, they can also be a refuge for utopias and fantasies.

As a reader of this book, you have already chosen your preference: creating new future logic. So, let us explore more and answer the following questions:

  • What do you miss about the "good old days"?

  • How much time do you spend on present problem-solving?

  • What processes have you implemented, and how do you explore the changes?

  • How do you shape the future and create your vision?

  • Which of the four previous questions is the most critical one today?

We all feel differently about the future, and our attitude defines how we are part of it. We can be reactive, inactive, preactive, or proactive. Each of these classifications from Michel Godet defines a certain worldview, set of actions, and how we embrace change.

Reactive stands for living by past logic and achievement. It follows reasoning using past methods, methodologies, tools, and thinking to solve present problems. Reactive also means assuming that the logic of business doesn't change. New changes, even the present reality, are ignored, or it's argued that they will not have potential implications for the business. Why? Because the past logic was superior, and people and society will realize it eventually.

Inactive focuses on the present. Crisis management and problem-solving allow no time to explore new futures. The strategic focus is reducing clutter, efficiency, and competition using the same logic as traditional industrial competitors. The business prioritizes control over creativity, inside over outside, order over questioning.

Preactive describes the process of predicting the future. Organizations explore change using different types of known methods and tools. The business intelligence department creates reports, marketing conducts satisfaction surveys, and trend reports are bought and summarized for strategic planning. However, often this information is used to argue an already set strategy and the implications of the shifts for the business are not explored. Preactive describes a company that understands the importance of data, information, and change but doesn't have the urgency to shape the future actively. This type of organization wants to ensure that they have the information and are prepared but doesn't shape the future.

Proactive defines an organization that shapes and creates its future, balancing desires with the ongoing changes in society. They research, provoke changes, and understand implications for themselves and society. The organizational structure is more agile to adapt and balance short-term challenges and long-term vision during strategic implementation. Changes are deeply understood, risks mapped, value shifts explored, and opportunities framed. It is an organization recognized by its innovative spirit, agility, and preparedness for the future.

Organizations are a mix of these four dimensions, yet often with one model more present than the others.

Tip! Organizations should be more proactive, but we must be conscious of the implications change might bring. If you are a more reactive organization, you may have the urgency to change, but going directly to a proactive attitude would demand too hard decisions. Please keep in mind your present state and capacity for change.


Question: What are Michel Godet's four classifications of attitudes toward the future?

Answer: Michel Godet's four classifications of attitudes toward the future are reactive, inactive, preactive, and proactive. Each attitude defines an organization's worldview, actions, and approach to change.

Question: How does a reactive organization approach future changes?

Answer: A reactive organization uses past methods and tools to solve present problems, assuming business logic doesn't change. They ignore new changes, believing that past logic will eventually prevail.

Question: What is the primary focus of an inactive organization?

Answer: An inactive organization mainly focuses on present problem-solving and crisis management, prioritizing control and order over creativity. They often use traditional industrial competitors' logic to reduce clutter and improve efficiency.

Question: How does a preactive organization prepare for the future?

Answer: Preactive organizations predict the future using known methods and tools. While they understand the importance of data and change, they don't actively shape the future. Instead, they ensure that they are prepared with the necessary information.

Question: What defines a proactive organization in terms of future planning?

Answer: A proactive organization actively shapes and creates its future by balancing its desires with societal changes. They are characterized by their innovative spirit, agility, and preparedness for the future, implementing a more flexible organizational structure.