Forget “Futurism”, Embrace “Nowism”.

“Futurism”. Think about that word. Sounds pretty cool, no? The idea of predicting the future and telling others what is likely to happen appeals to us. I think anyone would find it quite interesting to call themselves a “futurist”. And the best part is, that by the time “the future” arrives, no one can truly hold you to your predictions. 

 Of course, there is a need for companies, governmental organisations and individuals to understand and plan for the future. But, in order to truly succeed in the future, you have to focus on the present. Keeping up with today’s cultural and technological complexity is hard enough, and many companies haven’t even begun to take advantage of the possibilities that are available right now. Plus, it can be quite comfortable to look ahead, and not have to deal with the problems we are facing today. But there is no way to prepare for the future without fully understanding what’s going on right now. So before we embrace futurism, we need to seize on nowism.

Nowism is a philosophical, yet practical, approach to managing your business for today and the immediate future. It doesn’t disavow the challenges or opportunities of the future, but the approach focuses on solving problems right in front of us. Those challenges can be simple or complex, but they have to be solved in a specific order. Nowism forces you to look at the market place today, and analyse what you can do better to meet the needs of the customers right now. it forces you to look at available technology, and figure out which you can used right now to solve the challenges you are facing. In short, nowism takes away any excuse you may have to implement changes right now. The cultural shif has already happened, the technology is available, the market is ready for changes – it’s all up to you and your team.

I’m not saying focusing on the now is the only thing you need to do. But it’s the best place to start. We spend so much time pondering over what we should do tomorrow, that today passes without any change at all. Transformation is’t a switch, it’s a dial that you have to keep turning until you’ve found the perfect position (this may never actually happen, but it’s the process of fine tuning that matters). And if you keep your reality based on what’s right in front of you, well, then you have a better chance of getting it right.

So the next time you encounter a “futurist”, say hi, and ask not what the future holds, but what today offers. I’m sure the answers will be enlightening. Now go, “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”!

Erik Ingvoldstad is the Founder & CEO of Acoustic.
Follow Erik on Twitter @ingvoldSTAR, follow Acoustic at @AcousticGroupSG
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[Main photo by Artem Popow, under CC]