The times are changing, and they are not going to stop. Could you have dreamed that this is where we would be just seven months ago? Maybe yes, if your organization engaged in regular Strategic Foresight activities.
Research shows that if you ask people what the future will be like, they take the current circumstances and make them faster, better, stronger. Cheaper. But that is not how evolution works. There are game-changers involved.
Strategic Foresight brings imagination into your organization, so you are not just extrapolating from the present when thinking about the future. When done well, strategic foresight helps you explore many possible futures and identify activities that will hold you in good stead regardless of what may come to pass.
Often, we are so involved in the present that we put off the future until we can dedicate resources to it. By neglecting the future, we can create an environment where strategic planning and operational execution compete, with one winning out at the other’s expense. Success requires synergy and a mutual, iterative relationship between the present and future; strategic foresight helps to create that. As leaders, we need to be regularly asking:
- What capabilities do we have today that we can use to leverage the possibilities in 6-12 months?
- Where do we want to be in 6-12 months?
- How do we get there?
With regular Strategic Foresight activities, we are exercising that loop and forming new relationships.
Last week I shared a strategic foresight exercise called Shifting Perspectives. This week we will talk about Seeking Counsel, bringing people together to help you with your strategic foresight activities. Seeking Counsel includes three exercises:
- Expert on the Fly – what to do if happenstance you run into an expert. How do you ask the right questions to help you get a glimpse into what is ahead?
- Outsider in the Mix – how to bring in and leverage someone who has a different point of view.
- Corporate Think Tank – outlines the basics of creating a think tank to take a serious dive into the future.