Understanding a challenge and acting on it is two different things. How can we act today to enable the company to be prosperous in the future? As written about in this blog post, the three horizon methodology can be a good tool to use.
The three voices that need to be in the same room
- The different voices involved can be highly engaged, all wanting to add their perspective. You have the voice of today, the manager(s) responsible for delivering todays result that are more concerned with managing the existing, maximizing returns and keeping the organization going efficiently and effectively.
- Then you have the second voice, the voice of the entrepreneur, the one eager to experiment, try out new things, explore and extend, accepting some aspects will not work
- Last we have the third voice, of the aspirant, who is looking to build a different vision, believing in different, more pioneering ways and visualiz things in their ‘mind’s eye’, far more aspirational, that can seemingly on first ‘take’ look to be totally incompatible to the reality of today.
It is the combination of these different three voices that need to come together and frame the innovation journey by using the three horizons framework.
Having different perspectives will enhance your innovation activities
The 3H framework offers a perspective that accepts the need to both address the multiple challenges that occur in the first horizon (close to the core), foster the seeds of the third (long term bets) and, allocate appropriate focus and resources to manage the transitions from one to another (identify and build new opportunities for your business).
What makes the model valuable to innovators and intrapreneurs is that it ‘accepts’ that competition is restless, markets are evolving, and that change is a constant. The three horizons approach offers the methodology for constructing plausible and coherent innovation activities projected out into the future. It looks for emerging winners.
Please note: This is not a planning tool; it is providing a valuable evolutionary perspective that dialogues can be formed around so decisions on where to focus and what resources to apply can be made on a more plausible and coherent set of activities projected into the future, searching for emerging winners that can change and challenge your existing business. The need is to address the challenges in horizon one and nurture the seeds of the second and third. It is not an either/or, good/bad discussion. You need those robust discussions to form fresh perspectives. The key is in listening out and becoming adept at managing these conversations between the ‘voices’ of the three horizons.