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FUTURESTATE DESIGN: How to step out of the past to create a business fit for the future

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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Mark Wilson is an expert in digital business strategy and innovation and CEO of Wilson Fletcher. He and his team work with leadership teams to design breakthrough strategies and services and embed digital-first behaviours.

Mark and the Wilson Fletcher team have helped hundreds of companies around the world (including AXA Health, NHS, British Film Institute, News UK, SNTV and LexisNexis) become strong digital businesses, building deep expertise in the challenges established companies face in the digital economy, and the radical shifts in thinking needed to overcome them.

If your business is stuck in a rut or coasting along you need to reimagine its future if you want it to flourish in the years ahead.

Futurestate Design: How to step out of the past to create a business fit for the future details a strategic methodology for the intelligent — and bold — leader: futurestate design. The approach has been developed by longtime business innovator Mark Wilson, from his experience across hundreds of programmes of transformation work with established businesses around the world.

Wilson says, ‘If CEOs want to future-proof their businesses, they won’t find the answers to the future in the traditional places they look for insight and they can’t design their futurestate by carrying the past with them. Most businesses today will fail if they try to grow by continuing to do what they do today.’

‘Futurestate design involves ripping up traditional rule books and embracing a completely different mindset. It’s about creativity and invention and above all, being open-minded and free from current thinking and constraints.’

The book offers insights, tips, and practical techniques for how to develop an organisation’s futurestate — how to create a tangible vision of their future to work towards, and how to unify teams to deliver it.

It sets out, in an accessible way, how established businesses can change with the changing world, rather than become examples of businesses that didn’t see the cliff edge coming until it was too late.

To define their futurestate, business leaders are asked to invest in imagination to step out of their current operational mindset. They must be cautious about using existing business tools such as data analytics, commercial performance data, current competitors, existing customers, and market research as these root businesses in the fast-disappearing (and, so, increasingly irrelevant) present. Using today’s operational data as a platform for future performance is a dangerous mistake that can have critical consequences.

Wilson says, ‘Companies that will benefit most from futurestate design are established ones that are defending a strong market position, or that suspect future frailty without a clear idea of how to become a strong business in the digital economy. Equally, companies may use it to reimagine an individual service, rather than their whole organisation and it is equally valuable for companies performing well as for those already facing challenges.’

‘Most find it really hard to step out of today and plan the future, but using futurestate design, they can imagine their business without any limitations, which is key to success.’

He concludes, ‘This book will help CEOs, and all leaders of change get into the right mindset to unlock a genuinely robust vision of the future. By ignoring the usual rules, businesses can avoid becoming obsolete. It’s not easy but shedding the burden of current constraints can open up opportunities they couldn’t have imagined otherwise.’