• Jim Canfield

The VOTA Tool & The Importance of Anticipating the Future



Anticipating the future is essential for keeping your business agile and competitive. One of the best ways to anticipate the future is to use a tool called VOTA.


VOTA is an acronym that stands for:


V = The vision plans for what needs to be done

O = Obstacles that may block implementation

T = Transformation needed to complete plans

A = Actions needed to create the needed change


Plan for Change


Companies that are the most successful are the ones that respond to drastic marketplace shifts by constantly staying on top of issues as they arise, as well as anticipating issues before they arise. They know that it’s critical to help their employees cope with and even embrace the pace of change.


When an organizational change is required, the VOTA tool is great for anticipating the future, establishing a plan, and executing the appropriate action.


Here’s why this process is so important. Visions can be set for all types of outcomes. In most cases, once goals are set, the mind tends to drift to the obstacles that might be encountered when attempting to meet the goal or vision. There’s a natural tendency to get stuck and become too immobilized or indecisive about what to do when facing obstacles. This is often referred to as analysis paralysis.


Change Takes Courage


When people need to make a key decision, they want to feel confident. However, making a key decision actually takes more courage than confidence.


“The truth is that having courage feels crappy at the time because it requires you to take action in the face of fear or doubt.” - Matt Lehrer

It doesn’t feel like confidence until you move into action.


The VOTA process can be used to establish and accomplish a big-picture, long-term goal or to take one minute for a routine task that must be incorporated into a busy schedule. Thinking ahead about the future will then help your business stay on track to reach goals and adapt.


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