What is strategic foresight? It’s a set of techniques for dealing with uncertainty and capitalizing on change. Foresight is a discipline for understanding how issues unfolding today could affect your business tomorrow.
Think of it as a process for challenging your current assumptions about the future and replacing them with a new set of considerations. It takes effort. The payoff is ensuring your strategy is tenable across a range of possible futures.
With a clear perspective on how your business environment is changing, you’ll be aware of the signposts and prepared to reorient your course of action as needed.
Foresight provides a lens to look beyond your immediate field of vision. The long-term view helps you identify unseen opportunities, generate novel ideas and capitalize on change over time.
Foresight helps you perceive potential threats, recognize non-traditional competition and anticipate people’s changing behaviours and expectations. By determining strategies that work across a range of possible futures, you make your business more resilient.
A clear forward-looking perspective makes it easier to steer the ship. Foresight helps you determine your long-term strategic vision. When the direction is clearly articulated, it becomes obvious where you need to develop new capabilities, it’s easier to build consensus, and decision-makers perform with greater confidence.
At its simplest, the foresight process breaks down to three basic activities:
There are a number of tools and methods you can configure in various ways throughout the process to produce desired outputs. Before kicking off your own foresight initiative, keep these key ideas in mind: