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For individuals and organizations, it’s never been harder to prepare for what’s next.
Our new research uncovered how one mindset can help guide the way forward.
As a result:
of people say planning for their future feels impossible
So, you're not alone.
The past used to help us plan for the future.
But it's no longer a reliable compass.

Now, our mental health
is paying the toll.

of Americans reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in 2020, an increase from 11% the previous year.*
* Nature - Covid’s mental-health toll, Feb 2021

But thinking about and planning our future is incredibly important to us and uniquely human.

Setting goals and making plans reduces our stress, anxiety, and depression...

and keeps us motivated,
healthy, and happy.

Your organization's

The ability to envision the future is innate in all of us. But some of us are better at it than others.

New cutting-edge research from BetterUp reveals that those who leverage a balance of optimism with pragmatism but also create necessary time to reflect and ready themselves for potential outcomes, tend to be more successful, hopeful, and less stressed than their peers.

We call these individuals
Future-Minded Leaders.

And  they're your answer to uncertainty.

Future-Minded Leaders are shaping a better future for themselves.

An ability to plan makes us feel a sense of power and autonomy, which helps reduce stress and emotional turmoil.

However, when we effectively tap into future-minded leadership, there are considerable shifts in anxiety and depression symptoms.

Our latest research reveals that:

Future-Minded Leaders have stronger mental health

Future-Minded Leaders are more hopeful about the future

Future-Minded Leaders can recover from setbacks and maintain productivity

Future-Minded Leaders are more satisfied with their lives

By balancing an aspirational view of our future with a realistic one, there are corresponding improvements in hope and overall satisfaction with life.

Managers high in Future-Minded Leadership have future-ready teams.

Future-Minded Leaders may tend to overcome challenges more readily because they’ve refined their approach to planning to prepare them for a variety of challenges.
more time on planning in their lives
more time on planning in their work


Increase in
team agility


Increase in


Increase in

Future-Minded Leaders avoid the “Innovator’s Bias”

We’re good at judging ideas we don’t have a self-interest in, but when it comes to our own ideas, our ability to be both optimistic and realistic about their limitations and liabilities disintegrates.

We call this the “Innovator’s Bias” and left unchecked, it prevents us from forecasting future consequences in a way that adaptively helps us, and it interferes with the quality of our strategic planning.

In an experimental research study, BetterUp Labs induced the Innovator’s Bias in 462 participants then asked the participants to rate the beneficial impact of an innovative product.

The “Innovator’s Bias” is a tendency to see our own ideas with partiality

Over several iterations of this study, “owners” consistently rated their own products as more good than bad, exposing a favorability bias to their own thinking.



Others’ ideas
Our ideas
What does this mean?
Passion for one innovation makes you positively biased to that innovation.

Understanding the Innovator’s Bias can allow us to plan more effectively for the future.

By not falling in love with our ideas and examining potential outcomes, we can be more agile and realistic about future plans and more ready for when they inevitably change.

Access the Future-Minded Leader report

Learn how to outsmart the Innovator's Bias, get dozens of additional insights, and learn how to cultivate more future-minded leadership across your entire organization in the full Winter Insights Report from BetterUp Labs.