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Business leaders have a responsibility to ensure that their organisations are ready to thrive while navigating a complex internal and external environment. This requires making brave calls about the future without risking too much in the present.

In our engagements with leaders, we often find that their biggest struggle is between ‘what is’ and ‘what could be’; between ‘what we’ve always done’ and ‘what is most likely to help us succeed in the future’. 

This is the core balancing act of most business leaders. Being agile enough to move towards the best possible opportunities while ensuring that the organisation maintains a level of stability by continuing to produce the excellent work it is known for. 

During the many years of leadership work, we have seldom found a framework that addresses this challenge as efficiently and effectively as Bill Sharpe’s Three Horizons Framework. In his book, Three Horizons: The Patterning of Hope, he describes how most organisations (and people), have an idea of ‘future consciousness’ – the knowledge of what the future could hold – and he outlines a structured approach to unlock this ‘consciousness’. The key element of The Three Horizons approach is that it is highly intentional and leaves the organisation and its leaders with a clear outline of how to move towards future success. 

Through a structured process, the ‘three horizons’ are identified: 










Horizon One – today’s dominant pattern; what is currently taking place which we potentially need slightly less of 

Horizon Three – the ‘pockets of the future, in the present’; those elements of your work that are most likely to be relevant in the future. 

Horizon Two – the change process, or actions needed to move the organisation from Horizon One to Horizon Three. 

Through this process, a road map is created that clearly defines the challenges of the present, the aspirations for the future and the kind of innovation needed to address both at the same time.  Action steps are developed, outlining a way forward through prototyping carefully identified new ideas. This ensures your organisation is orientated towards future success.

Knowing that time is precious and that you’re more than likely considering your focus for 2020, Lockstep has crafted a condensed Three Horizons process to specifically aid in crafting your plan for 2020.  The outcome of this condensed process is an acute awareness around how your current, individual and collective intentions and behaviours are actively shaping your future – or not

We believe in leaders who shape companies that make great citizens of the world. The Three Horizons allows a business leader to ensure the long term sustainability of their organisation, as well as setting a clear course for their leadership team.

Clarity on ‘how to get there’ is fundamental and we’d like to assist by sharing this process with you. 

Contact the Lockstep team to schedule time to discuss the Three Horizons Framework for your business. You can also download our brochure here to learn more about how we can support you with your 2020 planning. 

Carryn Ortlepp

Carryn Ortlepp

Carryn Ortlepp is the Chief Operating Officer at Lockstep. She leads the support team in creating a solid base to work within at Lockstep. Her experience as a leadership practitioner means she is able to weave together both her business knowledge and deep understanding of Lockstep’s work, ensuring the business is set up to best serve the team of associates and the clients. Carryn believes that work should be a place for people to showcase their true abilities and connect with others who share a similar purpose. Carryn started her career with a degree in Organisational Psychology and is qualified as an Integral Coach.

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