Futurists working with clients may be tempted to play the role aggressively, with an in-your-face style pushing bold new ideas and transformations. That may be appropriate in some situations, but futurist John Mahaffie says that sometimes it’s better to play a low-key (but persistent) role to make sure the right questions are being asked.
In a recent blog post, Mahaffie identified some of the questions that ought to be asked in a client engagement:
- Are we talking about the right thing?
- Have we looked outside the usual boundaries?
- Are the right people in the room to discuss this?
- Are we overly influenced by our past interests and sunk investments?
- Are we accounting for multiple perspectives?
- Are we really looking at the future — like exploring the possibilities and aspirations out to the year 2018 or 2023 — or are we just catching up with the unfinished business of today?
These are just a few of the questions Mahaffie suggests (I picked my favorites, and did some paraphrasing). I encourage you to read the whole post.
The difference between futurists and regular consultants