Written by Dave Wegge
The Bay Area Community Council (BACC) is experiencing an exciting and productive 2020. BACC is walking-the-talk of our role in strategic foresight. For the past three years, BACC has trained leaders in nonprofits, business, education, and government to use the tools of foresight analysis to guide their organizations into the future. For the past three months, BACC has used a foresight tool, the Three Horizons model, to guide the future of BACC.
The Three Horizon model is based on the work of Bill Sharpe in his book Three Horizons: The Patterning of Hope. At the October Board of Directors meeting, the BACC approved a Three Horizons plan as a working document to guide our work from 2020 to 2030.
In applying this model, Sharpe suggests that after identifying the current state in the First Horizon, organizations should next envision their preferred future in the Third Horizon. The Second Horizon then provides the path to transforming the organization to reach their preferred future.
The First Horizon (H1) 2020-2021: Reimagining BACC. H1 describes the way things have been done and how we would expect it to change if we kept behaving in the same way as in the past. Innovation is done only in a way to sustain what we have been doing in the past. At some point we realize that the way of doing things in H1 is falling short. We discover that our old way of doing things is not getting us where we want to go and not accomplishing our purpose for existing.
What does Horizon One look like for BACC? In this phase we are reimagining BACC. It is important that we recognize, honor, and build on impactful work that BACC has done in the past. Horizon One calls us to reimagine the future of our organization using foresight tools and thinking. Horizon One informs us that we can be doing more to expand our reach and help our community prepare for the future.
The Third Horizon (H3) 2026-2030: Foresight Embedded and Sustained in the Community. H3 is the future of our organization. It is what we envision as the future of BACC. In the eyes of many, it might appear to be unrealistic. In some cases, some of the ideas shaping the vision indeed may be unrealistic, but they are aspirational.
What does Horizon Three look like for BACC? BACC is recognized as the primary organization leading the community into the future. BACC is fully staffed and funded. Foresight is now embedded in the culture of local business, nonprofit, education, and government organizations and is shifting mindsets into a new mode of thinking about the future. BACC services and programming are sought after statewide and beyond.
The Second Horizon (H2) 2022-2025: BACC Transformed. H2 is the transition and transformational phase of the Three Horizons model. The Second Horizon seeks to move past the perceived shortcomings of the First Horizon, while honoring the work and the impact of the First Horizon.
What does Horizon Two look like for BACC? Horizon One gave rise to the need for BACC to shift its focus to the future. We see this new focus as the best way to serve the long-range possibilities for our community. In Horizon Two, BACC puts “structure and meat” on the bones of our Foresight skeleton. This is largely an era of organizational development and increased visibility for BACC. Securing a strong BACC organization that is branded as the Foresight organization, is the key to successfully fulfilling the vision of Horizon Three.
BACC’s Three Horizon vision lays out an ambitious plan for the future of our organization and the role BACC can play in contributing to a thriving greater Green Bay area. BACC has an extremely talented and generous volunteer Board of Directors. However, to achieve our Third Horizon will take more than our volunteer Board and our talented part-time staff. To achieve our Horizon Three will require additional funding and staffing. We are confident that with these additional resources BACC will help drive the future of the greater Green Bay area.