August 13, 2007

What's On the Horizon

In a general session presentation at this morning's ASAE Annual Meeting, recognized creator of the Appreciative Inquiry movement, Dr. David Cooperrider used a turn of phrase that I found quite powerful.

He was talking about the social responsibility movement (primarily in corporations) and how it has moved from the periphery to the pervasive.

The notion of ideas moving from the fringe to mainstream is not new, but the language he used was novel for me and connected me to the concept in a different way. I immediately found myself thinking of several questions:

  • What's now pervasive that we thought would remain on the periphery? Why did we not foresee what has happened?
  • What's on the periphery that we think will be pervasive and what are we preparing to do?
  • What's on the periphery that we don't think will be pervasive and how would we respond if we are wrong?
  • What level of "pervasiveness" causes us to make different choices?
Regardless of what work you do, keeping an eye on the future while our feet are standing in the present is such a basic, but not always realized guidepost for effective strategy devvelopment.

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