Q.west for good: Change leadership stories with Denise Withers

Joe Tankersley: Imagining better tomorrows – with stories.

July 21, 2021 Denise Withers Episode 34
Q.west for good: Change leadership stories with Denise Withers
Joe Tankersley: Imagining better tomorrows – with stories.
Show Notes

"The future does not exist. It is not some destination out on the horizon waiting for us to show up. It is ours to create. The journey to better tomorrows begins with the stories we tell ourselves about what is possible." – Joe Tankersley

Most of us struggle to imagine a future that is significantly different than our world today. Yet, using storytelling to explore possible future scenarios as a way to inform vision, purpose, and strategy is one of the cheapest and most effective ways for leaders to build resilient organizations. Just look at the success of future focus companies like Disney, Apple, and Tesla.

So why don't we use future storytelling more? Mostly just because we don't know how.

That's why I'm so excited to have Joe Tankersley on the show. Joe is a futurist, filmmaker and former Imagineer who helped Disney build strategic foresight right into the heart of their organization. These days, he works as a futurist and storyteller, combining his skills to help organizations design and implement strategic narratives to shape their future. His clients include multinational corporations, major foundations, and community-based organizations.  Recent projects have explored the future of the workforce, retail, sustainability, public health, creativity, and ageing.

In this episode, Joe shares some incredible stories about how he helped bring strategic foresight into Disney and how they used it to imagine and build their future success. We also unpack some of the challenges of doing this kind of work in a corporate environment. And discover how the process of engaging people in exploring the future can be just as valuable sometimes as the actual story produced.

Tools like futurism, strategic foresight and scenario planning have been around for decades now. But it takes the right mix of creativity, vision and rigour to be able to use them effectively. Joe brings all that and more to his work, and I know listeners will leave this episode inspired to put what they just learned to work to "imagineer" a better tomorrow for themselves and their organizations. 

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