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Envisioning the Future While Honoring the Past

"You just see seeds, but I see trees!"

Recently, I discovered a word that I had never used before- prospection. It's the ability to imagine or envision possibilities for the future. One writer calls it mental time travel! Imagine being able to consistently look at the world with child-like faith and a sense of wonder. My kindergarten students were masters of prospection!

As we grow older, this ability diminishes in some people. For others, it matures. Learning to take these big ideas for the future, we compare them with our current reality. Assembling the knowledge and skills we need to take action on those ideas. Prospection can be used to anticipate obstacles and potential challenges. Leading us to find solutions and new ways to mitigate risk.

Prospection at Work

I saw prospection at work while watching my father dream, design, plan, and build housing models in my hometown, Mount Vernon, NY. My dad dreamed of future possibilities for community transformation. When others saw empty lots, he saw homes. His vision became a blueprint. My mother would take a craft or dollar store item and turn it into a prop for a play she wrote about the Good Samaritan to fund a missions project. You see prospection is a critical "organizing principle". Without it, we lose our ability to see the possibilities for the places that need light and hope the most.

Prospection is the ability to envision possibilities for the future.

Like architects design frameworks for structures, I sketch roadmaps for businesses and organizations. You may have a notebook of a million ideas or an organizational document of 100 pages and see chaos. I see the blueprint. I can visualize "it" in my head and sketch what I'm seeing! I never thought I would be using a passion, and gift cultivated as a child to help others get clarity to launch and grow businesses, and city revitalization projects. I now get to honor my parents' legacy by helping others bring about positive change and community transformation.

Have you stopped dreaming? Have you buried a gift you have because you didn't think it would be of any use or profit? I encourage you this month to find ways to ignite that child-like wonder. Whether you consider yourself to be a visual learner or not, you have the ability to visualize something new. You never know- what you consider to be "just your imagination" may be the answer to a problem that has gone unresolved for too long.

Visit our website to learn more about our visual vision mapping services for entrepreneurs and check out Viz Think Lab, our new online community for visual learners.



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