Dan Dennett once said that ‘you should only assign yourself to a position when you can equally argue the opposite view’ – and in today’s world of content curation, filtered search results, and ‘people like you like’, that’s more important than ever.
So my belief is that to make great decisions and create great experiences we need to ask questions and challenge our own perceptions, seeking to understand how we and others were, are, and will be – as these people explain far better than I could:
‘We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine.’
Yuval Noah Harari
‘People don’t think how they feel, they don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say‘
‘The purpose of looking to the future is to disturb the present. It is only by being disturbed that we stand a better chance of shaping the future rather than being its victims’
Luckily for me, I have the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of people at The Foundation in London, discovering and connecting a deep understanding of what people truly value, to help clients find new and better ways of doing things. This could be for individuals, for companies, or for customers, so I do a lot of personal coaching, strategy development, and proposition & experience design.
And of course, when looking at the world around us, we should always remember Douglas Adams’ view:
- Anything that’s in the world when you were born is normal and is just a natural part of the way the world works
- Anything that’s invented between when you’re 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it
- Anything that’s invited after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things…