I facilitated at a conference recently at which some very impressive people from the Institute of the Future also spoke. The Institute, in their own words, “works with organizations of all kinds to help them make better, more informed decisions about the future. We provide the foresight to create insights that lead to action.”
They were there to present their 2007 Map of the Decade, six stories or perspectives on the trends that were going to shape society and the decisions we make for our lives.
I was given a version of the Map. I found it significant that, in all the detail, the word leader only appeared once, as did the word leadership.
These concepts and the roles and contexts they point to are, apparently, not part of the future. What was described again and again in the Map were individuals gathering together and organizing themselves around issues, themes or opportunities. Think groups, networks, collections, gatherings, communities – a distribution of power around passion, competence and responsibility.
Forget leaders and followers.