Are you ready for the future? [Part 01 of 03]

If one thing became clear in 2020, is that anything can change. Over night.

Who would have guessed that some weird virus in China, emerging in November of 2019, would have such an impact on the market, health care, and the liberties of citizens around the world? One of its consequences is that we are confronted, rather harshly, with the fact that anything can change. Additionally, if you are not flexible in changing with the circumstances, you will be left behind. So the question emerges: Are you ready for the future?

(This is article #01 in a short series that will look at what’s needed to become and stay successful in ever-changing times. Follow our LinkedIn page here for #02 en #03!)

The stories of entrepreneurs in the hotel and catering industry, who have had to alter their entire business plan last year from offline experience to online delivery are known.

Additionally, the stories about white collar companies who no longer flock to office buildings during working hours, but who work from home whilst operating their Zoom or Microsoft Teams calls are also very familiar by now.

Let’s not forget the healthcare workers, who have been working non-stop since the outbreak. They have been taking care of the sick and needy, and are doing an amazing job.

In short: The impact is clear to all, and the above-mentioned examples don’t come close in showing the full picture. Everybody has their Covid-stories, with family, friends, and with professional relationships.

However, one thing is very clear: Everybody has had to adapt to this new, and in the beginning unknown, situation.

It's time for change and adapting to be ready for the future.
Are you ready for the future? [Part 01 of 03] 1

It’s really too bad that a dangerous situation, such as Covid-19, was needed to cause this.

What else will change?

Technology continues to change. That much is clear. The emergence of new technology, more effective way of automating, and the evolution of artificial intelligence are going to disrupt entire industries. And that is just the tip of the ice berg. The exponential change, inserted by disruptive technology, will impact all aspects of human life.

Obviously, plenty has been written about that. Just Google search terms that have to do with the effects and consequences of new technologies, automation, or A.I., and it will become very obvious right away.

But let’s not forget that in the short- and mid term, there will be consequences for organizations and the people that work in those organizations. A lot of jobs will change, due to the new tech that we’ll be working with.

Accountants becoming obsolete is a rumor that has been going around for a while. Much of their jobs will be taken over by effective automation and AI. Where should these accountants go?

What about the factories? What jobs will remain exactly the same, if the machines can operate more and more autonomously? Even more so: If those machines can recognize mistakes earlier, and undertake the appropriate and automized acties to correct those mistakes?

Are the factories ready for the future?
Are you ready for the future? [Part 01 of 03] 2

Keep your sights on Elon Musk, too, who is ahead of the curve with his companies. Especially when it concerns self-driving cars and trucks. What will that mean for the logistical and transport industry, or the cab drivers who color New York yellow?

The prospect is that many jobs as we know them now, will change or disappear. Easy as that.

The times they are a-changin’

In fact, the entire Covid-19 situation, and the ever-changing circumstances, continually remind me of the famous Bob Dylan song The Times They Are A-Changin’Especially the first verse:

Come gather ’round, people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you is worth savin’ And you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’

Simply said: The water is rising, and you’ll just have to accept that it will impact you. But: If you think it’s important to keep on keeping on, you better start swimming. Or you’ll sink. The water is coming – how will you handle it?

This song was released in 1964. The only constant is change..?

And now what?

How long it will take for those job to change, is unclear and dependent on many factors, such as technological progress and the needs of the markets. In these articles, I will not be answering that question.

What I can tell you, however, is that there will always be a very important role for businesses and professionals. The way you will or won’t be a part of that, depends on your mind set regarding these developments. And how ready for the future you are.

That is what this series of articles will be about.

Vision Forward supports people and organizations in these developments. In fact, the irrationality of mankind is the foundation of everything we do in our training sessions and developmental projects. We know that this is an essential part of ‘getting free’ of non-conscious beliefs that limit you, and the transition to conscious and constructive beliefs that will get you ready for your success in the future.

Get in touch with us, and we’ll talk about the future of your organization and the people who work in it. Now and in the future.

This was article #01. Follow our LinkedIn page to be informed when #02 and #03 are published!

Written by Stephan Annema

Subscribe to the YouTube channel of our CEO Martijn Schaap, when you want to know more about goal-setting, achieving success, and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Aligned Goals: Success for everybody!

De compounding effect of aligned goals

From our Vision Forward stand point, we discuss the value of setting the right goals regularly. Especially at the start of a new year, like right now. Goals that are taken a step further than the (bi-)annual goals, and truly give a magnificent vision for an amazing future. The benefit of setting goals like this, is that your brain can apply itself maximally on such goals. However, there is a disadvantage. Such goals can be terrifying in magnitude or ambition. Which is exactly why it’s important to get others involved! But how do you do that? By ensuring that all goals are aligned with each other.

What are aligned goals?

Aligned goals – what does that mean? Well, when your goals and the goals of someone else are aligned with each other, it has a compounding effect. Which can present itself in many forms. An example:

Imagine you’re a new business account manager. Together with your team, you’ve been presented with a team target. Obviously, you have been given your own targets. So far, so good. This is not exceptional. When everybody reaches their own, individual targets, it usually means that the team target is also realized. Oftentimes, the realization of the team target comes with monetary bonus, which is nice.

However! A (purely monetary) bonus doesn’t work as motivating for most as people think. Anybody who has read Drive by Daniel Pink, knows this by now. The logical question becomes then, well, what does work? Get in touch with Vision Forward, and we’ll look at it together!

Extrinsic motivation does not motivate

Let’s say you’re the same new business account manager as from the example above. However, this time, you find yourself talking to your Sales Director, who looks beyond the traditional bonus set up of the department. He starts to ask you questions, and makes you think about what you really want. What your goals are. “Wow,” you think, “nobody has ever asked me that!” You tell him that in 5 years, you want to become a Sales Director yourself. A worthy goal!

Your Sales Director goes deeper: “What is it that attracts you to that role? What will you get out of it, personally ánd professionally? What is the impact you’ll have on your team? Your other colleagues? Your organization? Your clients and customers?”

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

He really puts your brain to work and lets you think about what that role contains, and what you can get out of it. You agree on a goal: If you perform 10% above your individual target, each quarter, you will be presented with structural training and development to enable you to reach your goal, and to prepare you for the role of Sales Director in 5 years. Within the organization, or beyond it.

Herein lies the power of aligned Goals: When you set a Goal for yourself, and others connect to that, it results in a compounding effect. The one strengthens the other. 1+1=3. The benefit is, obviously, that the organization has an energetic, proactive, motivated and happy employee who will do anything to perform above target. With all the short- and long term benefits that come with that. But: You’ll have to invest in his/her future as well.

Working to Goals together, by individually working towards personal goals, works amplifying. Look towards the long term to figure out and describe the best Goals for everybody.
Aligned Goals: Success for everybody! 3

Aligned Goals: 1+1 = 3

Another great example: A project coordinator for a construction company, 55 years of age, has indicated to his manager that he would like to retire soon. Preferably a few years before reaching the usual retiring date, set by the collective labor agreement.

How do you effectively deal with this? You do not want this colleague to become unmotivated, or working with clients and projects in an indifferent manner. The CEO of this organization found a great solution: He agreed to an earlier retirement for this colleague, but not before he asked him what the financial consequences were going to be for this colleague, should he retire before the official date.

It makes sense that the monthly income, whilst retired, would become less if the colleague would retire early. Yes, that was going to be a challenge, and present the employee with a less-than-desirable situation. So what did the CEO suggest? Yes – the employee would be allowed to retire early. And yes, that would have negative financial consequences for him personally, regarding his income. Obviously, it would also entail some negative consequences for the organization: A replacement employee has to be found, hired and onboarded. So: A compromise!

To ensure that this employee would remain motivated to be as enthusiastic, customer friendly, and qualitative as before, the CEO suggested to supplement the retirement account of the employee. However, not for nothing. This colleague would receive a percentage of every new account or project that he would reel in, from that point forward. And that percentage would be deposited straight to his retirement account.

What effects did this cause? Well, that employee has gone to extreme lengths to seize every opportunity that would bring projects, new accounts, and new projects into the organization. And it worked. In those last few years, he has worked so hard that it not only ensured praise from his co-workers, but it also ensured that his retirement account was supplemented. When he retires, he will be financially very stable.

Of course, it was beneficial to the organization as well. New projects and accounts came in, who otherwise may not have been signed. New clients, new projects. 1+1=3.

What can you learn from these examples?

It doesn’t matter if you’re an Executive, a manager, or an employee. Think about what YOU want, and how can you aligned others to your goals. Ask about the goals of the people in your vicinity. Yes, both personal ánd professional goals. Then – get to work and create situations when 1+1 becomes 3. It will require an investment of time and energy, but you’ll see some extreme fantastic results.

Need support? Feel free to get in touch with Vision Forward, or click here to send us an e-mail. We’ll help you and your team. We love to do it, and luckily, we’re good at it.

Written by: Stephan Annema

Interested in practical videos on sales, leadership, being an entrepreneur and accelerating your success? Click on the link to subscribe to the YouTube channel of our CEO, Martijn Schaap.

Follow the YouTube channel of Vision Forward CEO Martijn Schaap 

Why do we like what we like?

The four-letter code for popularity

How did one man understand what so many different consumers wanted? In what manner did he use psychology to sell his ideas and designs? What can you do, to sell anything to anyone?

Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design, had a theory. He was the all-star 20th-century designer of the Coca-Cola fountain and Lucky Strike pack. Furthermore, he designed the modern sports car, locomotive, Greyhound bus and tractor. Additionally, he designed the interior of the first NASA spaceship and the egg-shaped pencil sharpener. Ergo: What is popular, and when? And how you can sell anything to anyone?

tedx whywelike visionforward 4 | Vision Forward International

Watch his TEDx talk here.

#subconscious #brain #familiarity #recognition #sales #salesdevelopment #design

How to Remember 90% of What You Learn

Personal Development by Studying and Teaching

How do you learn? Most likely, you learn by taking in new information and then repeating it so often, that it becomes ‘second nature’. Remember the first time you were driving a car? A lot of information to take in. After a while, you did it so many times, your subconscious brain took over and said ‘We got this”. Personal development works this way, too.

There is a hack for this, which allows you to retain the ‘new’ information even quicker. Firstly, it will allow you to make more connections in the brain, quicker than before. Secondly, it’ll ensure that those connections in the brain apply to existing knowledge too.

It’s called the 50/50 rule, and it will help you retain that information even quicker.

training teaching learning visionforward 6 | Vision Forward International

How does it work? According to Thomas Oppong, it’s this: “A better way to learn, process, retain and remember information is to learn half the time, and share half the time.”

So if you’re reading a book, instead of completing it in one take, do something different. Aim to read a chapter, and then recall, share, or write down the key ideas. What have you actually learned from it? Write it down, tell a friend, or tell a colleague. It’s a way to further your own personal and professional development, and that of others.

“The mind is like a muscle. The more it’s exercised, the better it gets and the stronger it becomes. “Use it or lose it” very much applies to the mind.”

When we train groups or individuals, this is why we encourage taking as many notes as you can. The brain activates when it’s writing down, because it helps memorizing and putting into action.

#subconscious #nerdsofhumandevelopment #visionforward #personaldevelopment #professionaldevelopment #success #learning

The Next Best Leader

Leadership Development for Middle ManagersL

What is a great indicator for the success of your company or organization? According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s the ability of your middle managers to inspire the people in their teams. Leadership development and execution, not just by the CEO, but by everybody who leads a team.

The study that triggered the WSJ article, is done by Gallup, on the future of work. “Five years ago, the Gallup organization embarked on one of the most ambitious deep dives it has ever conducted; an analysis of the future of work based on a decade of input from nearly 2 million employees and more than 300,000 business units. The results confirmed something Gallup had seen before: a company’s productivity depends, to a high degree, on the quality of its managers.”

leadership mm visionforward 8 | Vision Forward International

What else did that study show? First of all, it showed that managers didn’t just influence the results their teams achieved. Due to that influence, it even explained 70% of the results. In other words, if you want your company to be full of excellent teams, getting the right manager is 70% of the battle.

Mentorphile commented on the article by the WSJ and the Gallup study. He stated: “What sort of return can businesses expect from doing this? According to Gallup, the top 10% of companies, ranked by engagement, posted profit gains of 26% through the last recession compared with a 14% skid at comparable employers.”

As a result of better leaders, teams perform better

Want to get the leadership of your middle managers to the next level? And consequently allowing your teams to exceed their own expectations and results? We have a program just for that.

#leadership #development #training #subconscious #nerdsofhumandevelopment #success #middlemanagers

What do you know?

What subconscious patterns are standing in the way of your success?

epictetus visionforward 10 | Vision Forward International

Epictetus said it well, hundreds of years ago. The things you think you know are 100% true, may not be as true as you think they are. Everybody has their own set of beliefs and subconscious patterns, and thus perceive those to construct reality. But who knows if that is really the best way to handle a specific situation?

Your personal growth and development depend mostly on one thing: You. And that means that you have to be able to let go of the things, beliefs, and patterns that were once working for you – but are no longer. Figure out why you’re not successful, and then dig deeper. Much deeper than you feel comfortable with.

If you don’t allow yourself to consciously step out of your comfort zone, then what are your developing yourself for?

#success #subconscious #nerdsofhumandevelopment #visionforward #stoics

How to Master Intentional Dreaming for a Satisfying Life

The best methodology to get your brain and intentions powerfully aligned

What is it that you really want? What do you want to accomplish? In your personal life or in your professional life? What goals do you have? How do you set goals? Does that even work? How does your brain work with goals?

dream subconscious visionforward 12 | Vision Forward International

David Paul Kirkpatrick writes about the brain, and how it helps you to achieve your goals. At Vision Forward, this is what we combine with the essential skills you need to reach your goals. Thus, the combination of skills and effective behavior, influencing your surroundings, and knowing how the subconscious works, is what sets the successful apart from the unsuccessful.

How do you set goals? One way to get ahead in this is to use intentional dreaming.

Here are the 7 steps that Kirkpatrick describes.

  1. Acknowledge that imagination has power
  2. Bring yourself into ‘body calm’
  3. Construct the aspiration in your consciousness and imagine it moving with you into your unconscious and subconscious reserves
  4. Go to sleep
  5. Repeat every night before sleeping
  6. When compelled by an intuitive affection, act upon it
  7. Let it go

Kirkpatrick goes into detail, which we suggest you do too. Read about it here.

#subconscious #success #goals #nerdsofhumandevelopment

A Essential Lesson On Leadership

Learning from ancient emperors to become a better leader

Marcus Aurelius held the most powerful position in the world. The adage that power in absolute absolutely corrupts has been repeated throughout history for a reason. It unfortunately tends to be true. But as the famous historian Edward Gibbon wrote, under Marcus, the last of the ‘Five Good Emperors,’ “the Roman Empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of wisdom and virtue.” Do you want to become a better leader?

marcus leader visionforward 14 | Vision Forward International

The Daily Stoic writes about the 12 lessons on leadership from Marcus Aurelius. For the entire article, click here. In this post, we focus on 1 essential trait of leadership:


93% of the time, we are ‘unconscious’. Which means that we let our auto-pilot take over. It means that we tend to get stuck in our subconscious patterns. When we are conscious, it takes real effort and sweat. Because that’s just how our brains work.

In a meritocracy, which is a culture that works in favor of the best ideas, you sometimes have to change your opinions or ideas about what works best. But if you’re a capable leader, you’ll do that. However, it comes at a cost. Because you’ll have to put your own ego aside.

Are you ready to become a better leader?

“Remember, if there is one core teaching at the heart of this philosophy, it’s that we’re not as smart and as wise as we’d like to think we are. If we ever do want to become wise, it comes from the questioning and from humility—not, as many would like to think, from certainty, mistrust, and arrogance.”

#success #leadership #stoicism #subconscious #nerdsofhumandevelopment