Lloyd Corder - The secret to making things better

by Lloyd Corder, Ph.D.

Several years ago when my friend, Clark Walter, wrote three words on a white board: Present-Future-Process. I rolled my eyes and thought this is just another consulting model for explaining the obvious. It’s easy…you assess where you are, plan where you want to go, then decide how you’re going to get there. Big deal, I thought.

After my hissy fit, I began to realize that this formula is way more powerful than I first thought. Everywhere I looked, no matter the field or application, it reveals the basic process for making things better. Instead of stressing out by focusing on everything that’s going wrong, you just concentrate on three areas:

  1. Present: Are you happy with how things are right now? If so, leave them alone. If not, move to step 2.
  2. Future: What would you like to have, do or become? This is goal setting 101. And like many things in life, it’s easy to do–and even easier not to do. Being specific about where you are going focuses the journey and helps you keep on track. We all need challenging goals. Once you have one, spend the rest of your time on step 3.
  3. Process: This is the secret sauce: The better your process, the better your results. If you’re accomplishing your goals and getting the results you want, keep going. If not, focus your energies on improving your process.

Everyday Examples of the Present-Future-Process Formula

Applying the Present-Future-Process Concept

Now, imagine what happens if you start to think of your company, marketing, design or any other task or important item in your life using these same three buckets. If things could be better (Present) and you have an idea of what you’d like them to be (Future), then start working on what you need to do to reach your goal (Process). If you’re like me, the process will take the most effort and time, so get to it as quickly as you can.

Once you see improvements, be patient. You’re probably going to have to repeat these three steps a lot to continue making refinements and improvements until you feel like things are really humming.

And you may eventually find, like I did, that this Present-Future-Process concept really is THE BIG DEAL!