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Handbook for Strategic HR by OD Network

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CHAPTER 61

Backcasting

A Systematic Method for Creating a Picture of the Future and How to Get There

Larry Hirschhorn

A CHALLENGE WE FACE in envisioning a goal is the difficulty of imagining the conditions that have to be true in the future if our goal is to be achieved. If we posit a goal, say, “our revenues are 50% higher,” it is apparent that many other conditions must also be true, e.g., “our work force is bigger,” or, “our product appeals to customers who have never before purchased this kind of product.” But how can we envision fully the texture of such a future state? What are the conditions that need to be in place in order for us to have accomplished our goal?

This is not a theoretical question, since without a relatively complete picture ...

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