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Futures Thinking

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Thinking about the future requires letting go and unlearning - we can't predict the future, so we need to learn how to embrace uncertainty and implausability in order to identify what's possible - where our emerging opportunities and threats are.

Just because it's not possible today doesn't mean it won't be possible in the future. And, those who recognise this will be ahead of the game.

Scenario planning

Complexity. Job interview? Avoid these 6 psychological "leaks" Chances are, you are woefully unprepared for that upcoming interview and you don't even know it. Talking points rehearsed? Check. Company and interviewer researched? Of course. Without knowing it, you communicate your deep psychological beliefs, attitudes and weaknesses every time you open your mouth. Dr. If you want to appear confident and project the right attitude, stop leaking negative psychological tells. 1. Example: "I worked hard for my previous employer for three years but still got laid off.

" Here the applicant is angry and frustrated that their efforts were not rewarded when they thought they should have been. 2. Example: "The last company I worked for went out of business. This statement is wrong on many levels, but what strikes me most is the focus and emphasis on the negative. Can you see the positive in an otherwise negative situation? 3. Example: "I wanted to go back and get my degree, but there was nothing I could do. " Externally controlled beliefs sound like excuses. 4. FUTUREPREDICTIONS.


A Warning to Leaders: Turbulence is not the Danger. Flying into Port Elizabeth recently I was reminded why it is I hold to the wisdom, ‘the bigger the plane the better’! As we were tossed around by the not-so-clear-air turbulence in the small SAA Express plane, flying seemed so unnatural. Man was meant to walk the earth and had no business being found in a tin tube at 27 000’. During this shake-up (and down) I was reminded of one of Peter Ducker’s quotes – one that I repeat often and believe implicitly.

Drucker once said: “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence, it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. Drucker was right. Yet so often I find that we ignore this insight and when the going gets tough it seems we become even more reliant on experience, past solutions and the battle cry is to work harder…something that often results in simply doing more and more of the ‘wrong thing’. This reliance on old logic is entrenched in business school curriculum and forms part of the very DNA of how we learn in such settings.

Decision Making

Open the Future: Twelve Things Journalists Need To Know to be Good Futurist/Foresight Reporters. J. Bradford DeLong is a professor of economics at UC Berkeley, and was an economic advisor to President Clinton; Susan Rasky is a senior lecturer in journalism at UC Berkeley, and was an award-winning reporter for the New York Times . Together, they have compiled for the Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard lists of what economists need to know about journalists , and what journalists need to know about economists , in order to result in useful and accurate economic reporting.

The lists are straightforward, and if followed would make a world of difference. This is a remarkably good idea, one with direct application in a number of disciplines that are important for society but prone to obfuscation and confusion in the press: environmental science; bioscience; computer science (pretty much all sciences, in fact); developments on the Internet; and, of particular focus here, futurism and foresight.

Here's my initial draft of 12 -- what would you change? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Why the economy needs people and businesses with one foot in the future | Guardian Sustainable Business. In difficult times, one of the first things to suffer is often the future. As uncertainty grows, we focus on what worked in the past, but try to do more of it, faster. Like unfit people, we breathe more shallowly. We lower our targets. Our time horizons become significantly shorter. And you know where this is going. In The Future Quotient, a new report by Volans and global ad agency JWT, we conclude that it is time for transformational (not incremental) change – and that the way forward involves scanning wider, diving deeper into the emergent realities, aiming higher and thinking and acting over significantly extended timescales.

An old economic and political order is coming apart; a new one – for better or worse – is self-assembling. This is a question for business as much as for politics and governments. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). So where would you look for new styles of leadership, better suited for the coming decades? The beta version of that test is now live. Impatient discovery vs. mature understanding — revisiting Ragnar Granit’s view of the goal of scientific work. Futures Thinking: The Basics | Open The Future. The first in an occasional series about the tools and methods for thinking about the future in a structured, useful way. For nearly the past fifteen years, I've been working as a futurist. My job has been to provide people with insights into emerging trends and issues, to allow them to do their jobs better. I've done this work for big companies and government agencies (usually under the Very Professional sounding title of strategic foresight), and for TV writers and game companies.

It's quite an enjoyable job, as it allows me to indulge my easily-distracted curiosity about the world. Fortunately, it's also a job with some definite practical uses. There's a bigger picture at work, too -- less practical, perhaps, but just as meaningful. I've sometimes called futures thinking a "wind-tunnel," a way of testing plans and ideas. But if futures thinking is so important, why don't more people do it? One answer is that they don't know how.

Futures Thinking - A Process Overview. Futurist conversation: Ross Dawson and Gerd Leonhard on the role of a futurist. Futures Thinking: Scanning the World. In Futures Thinking: The Basics, I offered up an overview of how to engage in a foresight exercise. In Futures Thinking: Asking the Question, I explored in more detail the process of setting up a futures exercise, and how to figure out what you're trying to figure out. In this entry in the occasional series, we'll take a look at gathering useful data.

Like the first step, Asking the Question, Scanning the World seems like it would be easier than it really is. In my opinion, it may actually be the hardest step of all, because you have to navigate two seemingly contradictory demands: You need to expand the horizons of your exploration, because the factors shaping how the future of the dilemma in question will manifest go far beyond the narrow confines of that issue. You need to focus your attention on the elements critical to the dilemma, and not get lost in the overwhelming amount of information out there. Look Backwards How far should you look back? Ask Around Follow Your Nose Images. Sixteen new ways to test your strategies.

“Ultimately, strategy is a way of thinking, not a procedural exercise or a set of frameworks” says Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit, consultants at Mckinsey. With this in mind and to stimulate that thinking and the dialogue that goes along with it, they have developed a set of tests aimed at helping executives assess the strength of their strategies. The test is a bit MBA text book like and although it represents a good starting point, it is not dynamic enough for today’s new world of work. You can see the list of ten strategy testers below or read their article in more depth here. However, Bradley, Hirt and Smit have missed what research from our Innovations & Futures Lab, has revealed are the most business critical elements.

Are you able to implement your Strategy @ Speed? If you want to know more about our Implementing strategy @ speed framework and our New Business SCRIPT please contact me or James Dunne Another ten more strategy tests…McKinsey’s strategy testers: Environmental scanning as information seeking and organizational learning. Chun Wei Choo Faculty of Information Studies University of Toronto Toronto, Canada Abstract Environmental scanning is the acquisition and use of information about events, trends, and relationships in an organization's external environment, the knowledge of which would assist management in planning the organization's future course of action.

Depending on the organization's beliefs about environmental analyzability and the extent that it intrudes into the environment to understand it, four modes of scanning may be differentiated: undirected viewing, conditioned viewing, enacting, and searching. We analyze each mode of scanning by examining its characteristic information needs, information seeking, and information use behaviours. In addition, we analyze organizational learning processes by considering the sense making, knowledge creating and decision making processes at work in each mode. Introduction Research on Scanning Scanning and performance One fact is particularly worth noting. Column: Why Businesses Don't Experiment. A few years ago, a marketing team from a major consumer goods company came to my lab eager to test some new pricing mechanisms using principles of behavioral economics. We decided to start by testing the allure of “free,” a subject my students and I had been studying.

I was excited: The company would gain insights into its customers’ decision making, and we’d get useful data for our academic work. The team agreed to create multiple websites with different offers and pricing and then observe how each worked out in terms of appeal, orders, and revenue. Several months later, right before we were due to go live, we had a meeting about the final details of the experiment—this time with a bigger entourage from marketing. But I could tell I was losing them. They hedged. This is a typical case, I’ve found. Companies pay amazing amounts of money to get answers from consultants with overdeveloped confidence in their own intuition. I think this irrational behavior stems from two sources.

Strategic Planning

Environmental Scanning at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education ... Environmental Scanning at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education: A Progress Report1 by Edward G. Simpson, Jr., Donna L. McGinty and James L. Morrison Simpson, Edward G. Jr., Donna L. A technique has been developed in the corporate world to systematically gather and evaluate information from the external environment—the environmental scanning process (Thomas, 1980). Detecting scientific, technical, economic, social, and political interactions and other elements important to the organization defining the potential threats, opportunities, or potential changes for the organization implied by those events promoting a future orientation in management and staff alerting management and staff to trends which are converging, diverging, speeding up, slowing down, or interacting (pp. 2-13, 14).

The Georgia Center for Continuing Education has developed a comprehensive environmental scanning project that attempts to identify signals of change in all sectors of the external environment.