Strategic Foresight in 5 Steps

Grand Challenges address socially intractable problems. Wicked problems. Problems that have so many moving parts, it’s difficult to wrap your mind around them – like climate change. I’ve had the opportunity to help conceive, design, and execute, five grand challenges. I’ve spent the last few weeks discussing the varied processes, tools, and models key to realizing large-scale change initiatives. This video will focus on one of the most critical elements – strategic foresight – the ability to look into the future.

We can bank on certain things like the sun rising. If that doesn’t happen, we will have much bigger problems than the future of our organizations. So, we bank on it. Secure in our knowledge that tomorrow will come, we have room to ask other questions like, “what else do we know?”, “how far can we extend what we know?”

I’ve identified five elements of the strategic foresight cycle through my work on Grand Challenges:

  1. Engage
  2. Scan
  3. Connect
  4. Act
  5. Measure

strategic foresight in 5 steps

In this video, I discuss:

  • Identifying and engaging your strategists (You might be surprised by a couple)
  • Accounting for visions of both exponential change and unimaginable breakthroughs
  • Spotting, understanding, and rating emerging trends
  • Connecting elements to accurately illustrate the trajectory of your organization
  • Taking action and measuring results

Strategic foresight is a cycle that continues throughout the Grand Challenge. It is short-term horizons, like the next three to six months. Or long-term, like the next decade.

Are you planning a Grand Challenge? Is your organization facing a wicked problem? See additional resources on my website at or email to schedule a call.

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