Focus on the Future

Department of the Future

October 12, 2015

Anita Roddick, the late founder of the highly successful natural cosmetics chain, The Body Shop, which she sold to the cosmetic giant L’Oréal for $1.1 billion, was a tremendously driven entrepreneur and an extreme social and political activist.

Whether you agreed with her political and social views isn’t important.

What is important is the way that Roddick looked at progress. Her focus was on a bigger future with the aim of changing the status quo. Her office even had a sign that read “Welcome to the Department of the Future.”

Consistent with that thrust, she worked to get her thousands of employees to come up with ways to improve their work methods and to make work even more (gasp!) fun and enjoyable.

You can take a metaphysical approach and say that we only have today, that there is no past or future, that we should all “be in the moment.” That’s fine if we were talking spiritual development, but we’re not. We’re talking about the success of your business or practice, in which there is a clear past, present, and future.

The past is great. It provides memories. Yet brain scientists tell us that imagined (read that as completely fake) memories seem as real to us as the actual ones. You really don’t want to return to the past, let alone an imagined one.

The present is here. Today. Now. Yet if, in a business sense, your entire focus is on the present, then you’re simply reactive.

It’s only when you have a future in mind that you can tailor your present actions to achieving that future, not someone else’s.

Open a Department of the Future. Give it a big budget. After all, you’re investing in yourself.

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