Rob-Jan de Jong’s book Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead aims to address the leadership challenge of creating a compelling vision. Not a vision statement that looks to capture the goals of an organisation but a thoroughly researched and clear vision based on environmental and business data. An encapsulation of a corporate strategy that illustrates where an organisation if going and what that ‘looks like’.
These are the type of statements that engage your team and give individuals something that they can aspire to. These are the types of vision that drive Apple or Nike or the 1960s US space program. These statements not only engage the current staff but also attract great talent and lead to incredible innovations. They are irresistibly compelling.
In the book, De Jong’s explains how to become visionary by exploring:
• Visionary content and how to imagine a range of possible and likely future scenarios.
• Visionary practices and how to pre-empt the market and to connect the dots.
• Visionary self and how to develop personal integrity, credibility and authenticity as a leader.
• Visionary communication and how to harness the power of language and use techniques and stories to make the message more accessible.
In contrast to many of the books published on ‘Vision’, Anticipate not only describes the concept but provides a practical ‘visioning’ process structured in clear and achievable steps.
Additionally, it provides some detailed guidance on crafting language that will appeal to your audience. The last section of the book is an excellent primer on how to grasp listener attention. This will give you significant insight into finding, developing and presenting a compelling vision for your organisation or cause.
Following much of the author’s own guidance, Anticipate is packed with stories and practical techniques for horizon scanning and exploring potential futures including the trademarked FuturePriming process, which helps distinguish signal from noise.
Overall, Anticipate is a great read with excellent insight and if you adopt and apply even a few of the techniques here, your career and leadership potential should grow dramatically.
A book to read annually!
Dare to Aspire