Imagine if Apple didn’t take a leap in creating and releasing iPhone in a world then dominated by Nokia and Research in Motion (RIM). Or imagine if Larry Page, the founder of Google, didn’t foresee the relevance of linking web pages together. Perhaps they wouldn’t be one of the most successful and influential brands of today. You want to know the secret for their success? “Strategic foresight.”
Strategic foresight is the ability to use one’s knowledge of today’s world to gain insights. More specifically, insights of the potential futures that may exist. Through this, leaders can act on environmental variables in the present day to shape their desired future state. This guides future actions along a preferred path of decisions and actions enhanced by the information gained through foresight activities. The sole purpose of foresight is to help make better-informed decisions in the present to drive future results.
Development of strategic foresight requires a deliberate effort. An effort that includes the creation of a futures-thinking organizational culture. Foresight development and strategic leadership requires the same degree of dedication as that given to current operational management. The culture must have a futures mindset. Furthermore, it must engage in regular and periodic activities such as environment scanning. These activities help identify critical changes before they happen. While others help amplify the information for analysis to aid decision making. Leadership teams must use information from scanning and analysis to reinforce planning. A culture that feeds clues to the future and acts on those clues is truly using strategic foresight.
The Consulting Futurists
There are trained experts with regards to applying strategic foresight. These foresight experts are “consulting futurists”. Their role is to help organizations and individuals explore opportunities and threats that may exist in the future.
These futurists use research, foresight, and specific processes to help leaders see changes. Then, develop the strategic actions and accountabilities necessary to create the organization’s preferred outcomes and results. They serve as businesses’ “future-tellers.” Experts that discuss different potential changes, possible actions, and potential end results. Future tellers or consulting futurists help inform every organizational move and action.
Not using strategic foresight and thinking about the future of your business objectives is one of the most detrimental mistakes any businesses make. Don’t let the fast-changing world be the reason for the fall of your business. Talk to us today firstname.lastname@example.org