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Defining Strategic Foresight

An excerpt from The Guide to Natural® Foresight Framework:

Strategic Foresight is a decades-old discipline that allows us to create functional views of alternative futures and possibilities. Through this process, organizations and people are better prepared for potential threats and are able to capitalize on hidden opportunities. While no one can predict the future, foresight allows us to mine the external environment for trends and leverage those insights to create maps of the emerging landscape. These well informed maps of the future allow us to test our current strategy, develop breakthrough innovations, and create transformative change.

Strategic Foresight and its most common tool, scenario planning, have been used successfully at the corporate planning level for decades; the most famous example being that of the energy and petrochemical giant Royal Dutch Shell. During the oil crisis of the late 1960s, Shell altered its strategy and successfully propelled itself to the top of the industry, a move accredited to the use of scenario planning. Today, organizations like Intel, Ford, and Disney have joined Shell in employing futurists to leverage foresight tools for organization-wide strategy development and innovation.

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