The Merlin Factor
When we drive a car, we look through the large windscreen to see where we’re going. To check everything’s safe, we occasionally glance in the small rear-view mirror. Where you’re driving to is many times more relevant to the journey than where you just were. Similarly, in the world of business, being clear on what you want to achieve is far more important than what has happened previously. Spending more time and energy on the future will yield better outcomes than wasting too much time on the past.
This philosophy is wonderfully explained by US business consultant Charles E. Smith in his paper, “The Merlin Factor: Creating Ambassadors from the future”.
In the early 90s, I was lucky enough to be working with a brilliant team of people from a change management firm called London Peter Roche and through them I met Charles and heard first-hand how his thinking has helped transform major corporations worldwide.
The beauty and simplicity of the approach, and the experience of working with Peter Roche and his colleagues, made a lasting impression and since then, I’ve applied the insights to many different clients and projects.
We have now used this inspiration to create a philosophy and methodology for pslondon that we call FutureThinking. By focusing relentlessly on the outcomes that our clients want to achieve, be they small projects or large campaigns, we are able to develop new solutions, free of previous constraints and blockages.
It’s exciting, empowering and allows our creative output to be completely focused on delivering the results our clients need. Nothing beats great insight, so in the hope that you’ll find it inspiring too, here’s one of Charles’ papers.1