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Lead From the Future

How to Turn Visionary Thinking into Breakthrough Growth

An innovative approach to strategy development that empowers leaders to envision the breakthrough opportunities that drive long-term growth—and then implement the initiatives that are needed to bring them to life.

We all know visionary leaders when we see them. They’re bold and prophetic and at the same time pragmatic. They don’t just promote change, but drive it, while inspiring and mobilizing others to do the same.

Transformational business visionaries like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, or political figures like Mandela and FDR, possess a range of innate qualities that make them extraordinary, but what truly sets them apart is their ability to turn vision into action.

In Lead from the Future Mark W. Johnson and Josh Suskewicz introduce a new way of thinking and managing that they call “future-back,” which allows any manager to become a practical visionary. Frankly addressing the many barriers to change that exist in established organizations, they present a systematic approach to overcoming them, laying out:

  • The principles and mindset that enable you and your leadership team to look beyond a typical short-term planning horizon and grasp the challenges and opportunities that will define the future
  • A step by step approach for translating your vision into a strategic plan that your team can align around and commit to
  • A way to infuse visionary thinking into the processes and culture of your whole organization, so that it becomes both a repeatable capability and a way of life

As practical as it is inspiring, Lead from the Future is the guide you and your team need to think as clearly, creatively, and expansively as visionary company founders do–and then act decisively to turn your innovative ideas into breakthrough growth.

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A powerful manifesto for long-view thinking, Lead from the Future offers step-by-step guidance for leadership teams that want to let go of the past and seize a new future. I recommend it wholeheartedly to any manager who wants to become a visionary leader.” — Scott Cook, co-founder and chairman of the executive committee, Intuit; member of the boards of directors at Procter & Gamble and eBay
Lead from the Future not only makes a powerful case for the need for long-term vision—it gives leaders the tools that they need to set a new course for their organization and navigate it towards a better future.” — Admiral James Stavridis, USN, Operating Executive, The Carlyle Group; Supreme Allied Commander at NATO (2009-2013)
The next decade will be far too noisy for conventional present-forward strategy. Leaders must look back from the future but act now. Johnson and Suskewicz show us how to discover the present value of future-back thinking.” — Bob Johansen, Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future, author of twelve books, including Full-Spectrum Thinking
Lead from the Futureshares invaluable examples of “Future-back” thinkers and companies who have exhibited long-term focus, sustained investments, and life-changing innovations. The book provides actionable insights and operating models to challenge your leadership teams to create a better tomorrow.” —Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman & CEO of Corning
Effective leadership today is about building an environment in which people are willing and able to co-create a better future. Lead from the Futureexplains why that can be so difficult in large organizations—and shows how barriers to breakthrough innovation can be overcome.” — Linda Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, author of Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation
Lead from the Future’s central premise is deceptively straightforward but decidedly revolutionary. In short, before an organization can master its future, its leaders must think about it systematically—with vision and creativity, but also with discipline, rigor, and realism. The rest is sound management. Johnson and Suskewicz have raised a battle cry for the kind of leadership that we need in these uncertain times.” — Sandi Peterson, Operating Partner at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, member of the Microsoft board of directors, and former Group Worldwide Chairman at Johnson & Johnson

About the Authors

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is co-founder and Senior Partner of Innosight where he helps companies envision and create new growth, manage transformation, and achieve renewal through business model innovation.

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Josh Suskewicz is a Partner at Innosight where he partners with leaders to transform their organizations in response to disruptive change, identify high potential growth opportunities, accelerate the development of promising emerging technologies, and guide the creation of new business models.

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