Design Thinking Must Be Futures Empowered

Leaders and companies often tell me how much they love design thinking. It provides them a tangible way to “think outside of the box” and create new pathways toward innovative action. However, once they integrate it into their organizational strategy and processes, they also tell me that they feel like a key element is still missing.

Where can I find the future?

Environmental scanning is the most critical practice for all foresight practitioners. But where to begin with sourcing interesting scan hits? The internet is an endless ocean of information, littered with misinformation and distractions. Even if you have a solid grip on how to conduct quality futures intelligence, good scan hits can be hard to come by– that is, until you know where to look. Below is a list of our favorite sources along with our community’s. Use it to kick-start…

Listmas in July

We have a tradition at TFS for a few years running- each July we hold “Listmas in July”. Toward the end of each year, futurists typically have a field day with lists. Top 10 Trends for 2022, 20 Major Trends for the Next Decade, Best Tech Trends for Your Company… You spend an afternoon reading through these lists and– voila!– you have everything you need to take your leadership, organizational development and innovation incubator to the next level. See how…

Dear TFS: Feeling Overwhelmed

TFS: How do you establish a regular scanning practice? There’s so much information out there, and only so many hours in the day. I want to be efficient, but I also want to make sure that I’m not missing anything when I look for trends and emerging issues. Can you give me some suggestions? – Sincerely, Feeling Overwhelmed!

Strategic Foresight in Government

We often joke that since the pandemic we have not had to advocate for futures thinking to skeptics nearly as strongly as we used to. The disruption proved to be a meaningful shockwave across all disciplines, forcing us all to seriously reevaluate priorities and the antiquated systems that keep us from reaching our higher order potential. Reactionary, short-term, quantitative, and mechanical approaches are ill-equipped to carry humanity into the future, or “what got us here, won’t get us there”. Luckily,…

Not Just Competitive Intelligence, but Futures Intelligence

VUCA—volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous—is an acronym coined by the U.S. military to describe the geo-political environment after the Cold War. Today, business leaders have adopted the term to describe their Monday mornings.

Follow Your Futures Compass: How to Identify and Frame Focal Issues

If you’ve just learned about Strategic Foresight you may be wondering, “Where do I begin? Do I need to create scenarios? Should I develop trend cards?” Focal issues help us to answer these questions, making them a critical starting point in your futures initiatives.

Kill the Five-year Plan

The Current State: Good Intentions, Poor Results Having spent the majority of my career as a finance professional for large, multi-national firms, I know intimately the herculean (and often fruitless) task of strategic and financial planning.

We don’t talk about futures…no, no, no

Foresight Lessons from Disney’s Encanto Surely by now you’ve watched or at least heard of the new Disney animated film, “Encanto.” Having been quarantined over Christmas with my 14-year old, I had the pleasure of experiencing the tale of the Madrigals, an enchanted family from Colombia, more times than I care to admit. Due to my repeated viewings as I sheltered in-place on the precipice of COVID’s two-year anniversary, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between one of the movie’s…