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6 minute read

Back From the Future

Dr. Mike Petty
6 minute read

In the iconic movie "Back to the Future", the movie's main character, Marty McFly, found himself 30 years in the past. His challenge was to go back to the future, or his real present time, which was fortunately made possible by a tool that took him back to the future – a Delorean DMC 12, equipped with the revolutionary flux capacitor.

Unfortunately, as business leaders, we do not have the luxury of time travel like that available in the movie. It would be nice to travel to the future to understand the environment that we would be experiencing ten, twenty, or even thirty years hence. If we were able to assess the future business environment, we would be well-equipped to make the most optimal decisions today that would drive us to our preferred future.

Even though science hasn’t discovered yet, as we speak, any means to travel through time, we have an alternative that may be just as effective: Scenario Development. With the combination of proper analysis of the principal drivers of your business and creativity brought to the process by an experienced and diversified leadership team, alternative scenarios of your future business environment can be developed.

Mapping the Future

With the best case, worst case, and intermediate cases created via the scenario development process, a leadership team can map scenario trajectories back from the future to the present day. The resultant scenario trajectories provide compass bearings, so to speak, to the future scenarios. Along these bearings, potential significant events, that provide the leadership team with early warnings of business environment changes in early stages, can be identified. These early warnings allow organizations to identify significant trends before they materialize. Being aware of potential trends before they happen and having plans in place to take advantage of possible business environment changes can help organizations achieve their preferred future.

Development of future scenarios and trajectories allow organizations to link current decision-making to their preferred future. It also allows the contemporary and ongoing linking of executive accountabilities to desired future results, creating a future-focused leadership culture.

Modern-Day Time Machine

For many organizations, this may seem like science fiction as they struggle to maintain competitiveness on a day-by-day, quarter-by-quarter, year-by-year basis. However, future scenario development, trajectory planning, future accountability, and a future-focused culture will enhance the probability of long-term competitiveness and organizational success. Although our modern age doesn’t have Back in the Future’s Delorean, with a flux capacitor, The Flagship Futures Group has the knowledge, system, and tools to help you get to and back from your preferred future. You can start a conversation today at

Image credits: Universal Pictures

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