Introduction: 4 Foundations

In this article, we will explore four foundations for building a successful career development plan, including:

  • considering the company's long-term strategy,
  • identifying passions and strengths,
  • understanding what the world needs,
  • and cross-pollinating skills and capabilities.

Strategic vision first

Vision Map & OKRs

Given the wide spread use and exploration of OKRs as a concept and a tool for goal setting, we will instead focus on “how OKRs can ground a vision in reality”, and secondly “who is responsible for which parts”, of a vision map.

At a high level to clearly define a vision and its implementation, we must thoroughly explore the following topics:

  1. Vision: Clearly and concisely describe a version of the world that is both distinctly different, and inspiring enough to capture your tribe.
  2. Objectives: Should be a directional tool that informs members of the tribe on what the desired outcome should be.
  3. They could be Thought of the “x” mark on a treasure map.
  4. Key Results: enable us to measure progress towards the “x” marks on the map to our vision of the future.
  5. Activities: are the things we do in order to achieve objectives, these will change over time, as they are our activities
  6. Impact: Sometimes a problem presents itself to us less as a vision and more as an impact we would like to see in the world.

Identifying Passions.

Understanding your strengths, interests and purpose is vital in building a meaningful life personally and professionally. The “Ikigai” is a Japanese concept that represents an individual’s purpose in life, using 4 lenses of consideration.

  • What you love: Explore your past experiences.
  • What you are good at: Explore your Personality & Strengths
  • What you can be paid for: Explore where your strengths meet other people’s needs.
  • What the world needs: When we think of the world consider: Family, Community, Nation & lastly the world as a whole

It can be tempting to see these categories and think of them as a formula for a meaningful life, but ive found it to be most effective to use them as lenses to continuously reflect on your day to day life. and to guide your choices, when you have significant decisions to make. For that reason, typically to get an individual started on the path to uncovering their own Ikigai, we would do a couple of unrelated activities like a personality test, or interviewing your inner-circle after which the individual will reflect on those activities through the four lenses of the Ikigai.

Exploring the world

Did you know: Lessons from the historical Journeyman.

Around the middle ages in pre-industrial Europe, “Master crafts people” and the guilds they belonged to, were one of the key foundations of the economy. During the journey to becoming a Master in a craft, an individual would travel out of their home town, for years,  to pick up new skills from master craft’s people in other regions so as to bring them back and further the discipline in their local community.

Cross-pollinating skills & capabilities.

A key part of role forecasting, is to invite external experts with knowledge that your organisation is yet to develop that exemplify some of the traits that have been identified both in the vision maps, as well as from the activities that were explored in the “Ikigai activities”.

These individuals should bring clarity and practical knowledge about the implementation and viability of the most important aspects of the future roles under consideration


In conclusion, proactively forecasting and developing the skills and roles that will be in high demand in the future is an important aspect of career development for any working professional. By considering the company's long-term strategy, identifying passions and strengths, understanding what the world needs, and cross-pollinating skills and capabilities, you can position yourself for future opportunities and advance in your career. Whether you are just starting out in your career or are an experienced professional, it is never too late to start building a successful career development plan.

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