Run Before You Walk
Updated: May 3, 2022
Well that sounds a little backwards now doesn't it? Like my intentional reverse order in The Noteworthy, "April Flowers Brings May Showers," I'm encouraging you to think of what you've always known in a different order.
I came across a term recently that sparked my thinking and hopefully it will yours. It's called backcasting. It is a play on the often-used approach for goal-setting known as forecasting. However, instead of foreshadowing and working towards a goal. Instead, you identify your goal and engineer ways to work from that goal in achieving it. Basically, it's reverse engineering.
Backcasting forces you to ask yourself questions rather than declare statements. Not to void using statements in their entirety for goal setting but by thinking forward and planning backwards, it expands your thinking to consider even more worst-case and best-case scenarios. It allows you see things from more of a birds eye view. You can be your own Wizard and create your own yellow brick road out of Oz to get back to Kansas.
To use my headline example, your thinking process could appear something like this:
April Flowers Bring May Showers
- If my ultimate goal is a beautiful garden of flowers, what nutrients do they need now?
Instead of: These are nutrients I need to grow this amazing garden.
- How should I schedule seeding these nutrients to produce a bountiful garden?
Instead of: I'm going to schedule my seedlings at this time because research says so.
- How should I adapt if there's an oversaturation of rain before the blooming season?
Instead of: Oh no, now it rained too much and I didn't realize it would ruin the soil so much.
- What alternatives do I have if there's not enough/too many supplies?
Instead of: This should be just enough fertilizer to help them bloom.
- Where is the best/worst plot for the garden and why choose one over the other?
Instead of: I like this plot because it gets the most sun.
Could you imagine Dorothy and Toto starting at Oz and seeing her Kansas house in the distance then being ordered by the Wizard to find her way there? Oh, the variations of story that would have created!
In life as in business, planning ahead affords us most control of a designated outcome. But using backcasting or reverse engineering expands our perspective and explores our creativity in achieving our goals. It grants us viewing our business, and our world, as a big picture and the multitude of ways that our story can unfold.
What big picture vision do you hold for yourself and how do you plan to get there?