Learning Experiences

The Three Horizons

Helping you protect the value of tomorrow, by concentrating less on today.

The three horizons are a powerful tool which help provide context as to what is required of leaders today, from a thinking and planning perspective.

Horizon One – Today

A lot of our time is spent in this space. It’s the one which we are in now and so it feels like it deserves most of our focus. However, if we spend between 70-90% of our time here, we are only ever going to be firefighting and dealing with the here and now – and anything above and beyond that, is seen as a distraction.

Thought Provoker – What % of ‘today’ do you currently think you are operating at? How can you change that?

Horizon Two – Tomorrow (+6 months ahead of today)

When we are stuck in the here and now, it can feel a mammoth task to even begin to consider 6 months ahead! That said, successful leaders and organisations are always, at least, thinking that far ahead. By challenging yourself to think ahead and plan backwards, into your ‘today’ you will notice that your % time spent in the here and now, will gradually reduce!

Thought Provoker – In the last month, how much time have you spent thinking about the next 6 months? What do you need to change about ‘today’ to give yourself more thinking/planning time?

And finally, Horizon Three – The Future (+12 months ahead of today)

For many, thinking 12 months ahead can seem a luxury, reserved for those that don’t have much to do! However, that’s not the case! Thinking 12 months ahead is not just about having a vision, it’s about having a strategy, underpinned by pragmatic tactics, which allow the flow of work and ways of working to evolve and ultimately achieve the vision.

Thought Provoker – Is your strategy visible to everyone? Have you aligned tactics to ways of working? What needs to happen, for you to get more thinking time around ‘tomorrow’?

A question I’m often asked, is how much time, perhaps as a % should we spend in each area – my answer, if only it was that simple! Organisations, markets, and people are constantly flexing and fluxing and so there is no ‘textbook’ answer on what you should do. That said, our thinking should act as a thought provoker if the following symptoms are existing for you:

– Everyone seems to be very busy, but not really making any progress
– We are constantly firefighting challenges
– Our attrition is high
– Our staff engagement/motivation is low

If any of these symptoms exist for you – think about where you should be concentrating your attention tomorrow, to protect the efficiency and effectiveness of your today!

Lee Russell
Client Solutions Director

Time to talk? Schedule in time with Lee Russell