Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Monday, September 18, 2006  

Building a Web of Relationships One Strand at a Time

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

"The richest experiences encompass aspects of all four realms. Set the stage by exploring the possibilities of each realm. The first step is envisioning a well-defined theme. Theming an experience means scripting a participative story. The richest venues affect the experience of time, space and matter. Strong themes create multiple places within a place. A theme should fit the character of the enterprise staging the experience."

B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, “The Experience Economy”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. Breaking into new communities is a process similar to infiltrating tribal clans. Outsiders will be kept at a distance until someone decides to sponsor them and to initiate a chain of introductions. And, usually those introductions follow a path of common interests.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: What we’re really talking about is an invisible web of people in a tightly knit community. At some point, if you build your network seeking referrals and introductions from one person to the next, you’ll find enough key connections, right?

Explorer: Yes. You'll find that over time some of the initial people you meet may not provide you with what you think you are looking for, but as you progress they may prove to be invaluable later on.

Eagle: And, it might not just be a matter of trust.

J2020F: What do you mean?

Eagle: You might not have been clear enough in your request. You may have asked questions using jargon or phrases that seem foreign in this particular community.

Explorer: And, while it’s true that we all know 200 to 500 people, we don’t recall every person who matches your request.

J2020F: So, doubling back is a good idea?

Explorer: It’s a great idea. Remember it’s a two-way street. Look out for their best interests during their survey. Touch base with them to update them on things they don’t have the time to pursue, but are of interest to them.

Eagle: You’d be surprised by how excited people get when you tell them that you actually took their advice and how their lead unfolded to where you are today on your journey.

J2020F: So they suggest new people to meet?

Eagle: Exactly. You’re building relationships over time.

Explorer: And, your update might trigger a connection I forgot or had occurred to me after you left, but I got side tracked by a phone call or another distraction and didn’t make the effort to call you.

J2020F: If I’m looking for employment isn’t it better to find several opportunities at the same time?

Explorer: That’s right. You'll end up with several ultimate targets instead of just one. This way you'll avoid disappointment for reasons beyond your control.

J2020F: And it will allow you to choose among several attractive offers in the end.

Explorer: Yes. At this stage of the game you'll want to record information.

J2020F: Information about what?

Eagle: About your live targets. The key is to identify ultimate individual targets at each of these organizations.

J2020F: Individual targets?

Eagle: That’s right. That person is the one official who shares your major passion, enthusiasm or interest.

Explorer: The one who has primary responsibility for the activity that you are eager to undertake for that organization, and has sufficient authority to hire you, employ you as a consultant, or to buy your product or service.

J2020F: So at the very least for efficiency purposes, in my database or spreadsheet I need to start with the full name, correctly spelled, and title and then find some something I share, right? How do you do that?

Eagle: Often it helps to construct a complete resume on them based on what you can discover by Googling them or through your chain of introductions triggered with Linked In and by reading the profiles for each person.

Explorer: That’s true. The more important these people are, the more information there is about them in public – local online papers and newsletters or at a library.

J2020F: So I can enlist the help of a friendly reference librarian, if I need to use directories?

Explorer: Or, you might uncover enough information by contacting the company's public relations department if the website doesn't provide enough detail.

Eagle: Don’t forget if you've befriended a reporter at the local newspaper -- or a business editor -- and if you can't search archived issues by the Internet, you might ask what articles they might have on the key person.

J2020F: But, again if this is for a job --all I’m looking for is some shared interest to begin with: same military background, college background, past geographical location, avocation, sports, church, professional membership, mutual friends, etc.

Eagle: Beyond that, you want to find out about the details of their function or operation including recent achievements, problems or challenges -- which becomes invaluable when you make your approach later on.

J2020F: Approach? How do you do that?

Explorer: Experience has proven that there are three avenues of approach to this task.

J2020F: What’s the first?

Explorer: Start by identifying precisely that organizational group actively engaged in the sort of function you find most enjoyable.

J2020F: Got it – from my targeting research. Then?

Explorer: Then find out who is in fact the most senior person responsible.

J2020F: Back to aiming higher? What if I haven’t been able to figure out who it is in a smaller town or exurb community?

Eagle: If this doesn't work, you have to make an educated guess, since in some large companies that kind of information is even unknown to people who would appear to be in the know.

Explorer: Remember, they may call the function a different name unique to their organization.

Eagle: At any rate, you may have to figure out which larger group your function may be a part of and target the person in charge. You should always aim higher if you're in doubt. If not the VP, then list the President.

J2020F: But, how do you get past the screening process?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

7:08 AM

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