How to use or facilitate:
- Give each participant a blank sheet of paper and a writing utensil. This exercise will include three separate acts, so they may divide their sheets into three boxes or a numbered list down the page.
- Act 1: Ask the group to take 5 minutes to describe their business as it stands today. How do people feel about it? What lifestage is it currently in? What is their product, market, revenue? This will set the foundation for building a plan for future growth.
- Act 2: Set another timer for 5 minutes, and this time ask the group to imagine their business 20 years into the future. What will they be selling? In what markets? What will people and the news headlines say about their brand?
- Act 3: This is where the “gap” comes in. Set a final timer for 5 minutes, and ask the group to compare where their businesses are today and where they’d like to be in the future. What strategies, tacts, or actions will they need to deploy to bridge that gap and make their future a reality. Write down as many ideas and opportunities as they can think of, and be specific!
- When finished, have the group plot their ideas, tactics, and strategies in chronological order and discuss. They can now use the outcome of this exercise to help further develop or refine their planning documents, product roadmaps, or any other key documents that help define their business’s goals and aspirations.
At one time or another, every founder or start-up must determine a vision for their brands and businesses. But this isn’t always an easy feat. Bridging the Gap is a design thinking exercise that allows us to visualize what the distant future might look like for our brand, and then design the steps we can take to make it a reality. Once we clearly identify the baseline and the desired outcome, we can create a roadmap with clear steps and tactics to help make it a reality.