Spring: Looking back while dreaming forward

Monday, March 20, 2023

Seasons have no borders. They gradually shift from one into the other. In business, this transition may be signified by the arrival of a wealth of data and insights from the previous year. Spring gives us the opportunity to reflect on them. By reflection I mean consider them as a whole. Take them all in. Sit with them. Put them in context. This takes time, but it’s worth it.

Out of reflection, a clear point of view often emerges. Too often we leap into action before pausing for reflection. We pursue easy returns down the same well-trodden path. Exercise patience. Reflection will lead to the germination of new possibilities. To that end, I offer three things to consider in your springtime meditations.

Your audience

Customer insights are never in short supply, when you seek them. Spring begs us to listen deeply to their feedback. Sure, you probably read it extensively during the winter, but when you reflect, try to read between the lines. What are they really saying? What underlying needs or challenges are they really expressing? Equally important: What are they not saying and why?

You probably won’t find the answers to these questions within the pages of your reports. Spring invites you to visit your customers’ world. Observe how they move, interact, and thrive. Try to connect with what their world means to them and what role your business plays in it. The more you experience their world, the more connections will be made.

Some questions for continued reflection:

  • How have the needs of our audience evolved?
  • What new audiences are emerging and from where?
  • What do they want to be, not just today, but deep into the future?
  • What value can we provide to help them make this journey?
Your product

Chances are your product has not lain fallow during the winter. New ideas are already in the pipeline and more are likely in the queue. Customer feedback may or may not have informed upcoming releases. Use spring to engage product teams, suppliers, and R&D teams. Learn what’s guiding their thinking and what they are excited about. If possible, invite them to reflect with you.

Some questions for continued reflection:

  • What new resources have become available?
  • What are we excited about internally?
  • Will it be just as exciting for our audience?
  • What discrepancies (if any) exist between our customer feedback and our product direction?
  • Might it appeal to an entirely new audience?
Your world

Finally, we should reflect upon our ever-changing world. Spend some time with popular culture and trends. Be mindful of prevailing attitudes. Especially in light of climate change and global politics. Is the game literally changing under our feet? Are we prepared for it?

As you ponder these questions, avoid jumping to conclusions. Give yourself permission to let it sink in. Spend time with your teams talking about these topics over weeks, not just days. Ask people for their opinions rather than solutions. Remember, this is spring. You’re lying on your back in the grass seeing all the possibilities in the clouds.

Some questions for continued reflection:

  • What’s different in the world today?
  • Are sentiments and norms changing subtly or raucously?
  • What global developments are unfolding?
  • How might they impact your business and your audience?


Like all seasons, spring will eventually yield to summer. You will reach a point where reflection yields fewer insights and your mind turns to developing possibilities into opportunities. You’ll be ready to welcome summer and begin the next phase of work. But, for now, enjoy the time to reflect.

Matt Morasky

Co-founder and Partner at Territory, Matt focuses on helping organizations approach, develop and execute co-creative solutions to strategic challenges of all kinds. A veteran visual thinker and consultant, Matt works shoulder to shoulder with leaders and their teams to provide the insights, skills and tools to keep pace with increased complexity and accelerated change. He is also co-author of The Art of Opportunity, a practical guide to identifying, developing and seizing growth opportunities through strategic innovation.

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