“Can you teach me thermodynamics in 20 minutes?”

overcoming short attention spans in foresight integration Having worked in corporate America for 15 years before joining the foresight, innovation , and strategic design firm Kedge and co-founding The Futures School, I know firsthand the challenges of integrating futures thinking in all types of organizations. For-profit entities like The Walt Disney Company (where I was charged with spearheading the first division in the company’s history focused on the future) are built with a bias toward short termism, but they are…

Redefining Value for 2023

An excerpt from the Guide to the Natural Foresight® Framework According to a recent study, organizations that intentionally plan for the future outperform their peers in terms of profitability and overall valuation (Rohrbeck & Kum, 2018). The result seems intuitive to most, yet “just one in five companies strategically prepares itself for future movements in the market – and just one in 20 companies adjusts its course of action accordingly” (“Corporate Foresight Improves”, 2018, par. 3). The future moves faster…

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,…

5 Tips to Avoid “Foresight Burnout”

If you’ve learned about Strategic Foresight recently, you’re likely wondering how to start socializing it to the broader organization. You recognize that there’s disruption and opportunity just on the horizon and you want to capitalize on that information without interrupting the flow of everyday business. Sadly, the future is not on everyone’s radar (except if you’re talking risk, or certainty). You need creative ways to inspire the team to consider the pull of the future without overwhelming them. Here’s five…

“Say Goodbye to Frank and Yvette”​

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Elliot A growing body of research suggests that our playgrounds are too safe. Apparently, giving children the ability to fail and recover builds not only resilience, but creativity and overall health. It may seem counterintuitive, but consider that if we don’t allow kids the opportunity to push the boundaries on their abilities (to “test the fences,” if you will), then when they…

Foresight = Data + Intuition + Research + Creativity

In a recent Forbes article, Industrial and Organizational Psychologist, Sesil Pir, toutes why foresight is a critical skill set for all 21st century leaders. “We never experienced the volatility, ambiguity and complexity in managing all of our tasks. It is no secret we all struggle to find the capacity to meet different demands in our roles and have a growing need to be able to think and decide more holistically.” We could not agree more with Pir’s statement. We need…

10 Questions to Test Future Readiness in Your Organization

For Rainer Rilke, poet and novelist, the future wasn’t a distant and nonexistent concept that could be flippantly disconnected from the present. Rather, the seeds of the future were contained within the present, and those seeds were waiting to grow and blossom. To extend the analogy, the human race is the fertile ground for the seeds of the future, and that soil is the key to the ultimate manifestation and expression of what is waiting to emerge. In order to…

Transformational Change With Qualitative Predictive Analysis

We will never be successful in navigating our way through uncertainty by only extrapolating historical data or exploring the possibilities that exist within our dominant narratives — our world is much too complex for such simple ways of thinking; we must move beyond adaptation or resilience as our response to the future, and begin cultivating a mindset of transformational change.

5 Common Reasons Why Foresight Efforts Fail

Creating a sustainable foresight practice for yourself or within our organizations can be a challenge. Our outdated systems may be faltering, but they are holding on for dear life.  There are lessons, however, in failed attempts at foresight implementation. In our experience, there are several common pitfalls which should be avoided when pursuing foresight integration.