I was part of a team that developed executive workshops to help customers envision a future they could be passionate about and begin to build plans to realize it.
Arthur D. Little (ADL) Executive Visioning Workshops were high level events where key industry leaders networked with each other and defined milestones they wanted to achieve to meet a positive future.
As a marketer, I loved these events. My role was to set the stage.
- How could participants experience a future state?
- How could I make it feel real?
- How could I help participants want the future we envisioned or be willing to morph it into a future they were passionate about?
One example was a workshop we held for leaders from the energy industry. To begin, we taped an evening news broadcast as if it were 20 years in the future. We also distributed hypothetical company newsletters highlighting a pipeline already built, a new energy source found, and a spike in energy requirements in a different part of the world. Each of these scenarios was based on research of what could be. The video and the newsletters immediately placed our participants in this future world.
ADL facilitators explored this future with our participants. Then, working backwards with the participants, they built a timeline of strategies, tactics, laws, and world events that would have had to happen for the future we depicted.
The workshops were rich in discussion including thoughts on technology development, public policies, world economics, and global trends.
At the conclusion of each event, we wrote up our discoveries, provided the information back to participants and discussed the interplay with industry media.
Write-ups from the executive workshops were distributed to news media, generating significant press exposure.