Gain insight by using foresight – think like a futurist
Yogi Berra once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” And who can argue with that observation today?
Technology, science, jobs, institutions, commerce, even values and cultures are shifting more rapidly than at any other time in history. A generation ago, economies were more tolerant of firms that failed to anticipate change. Today, failure to anticipate change can be and often is, abruptly fatal.
So, how are organizations unlocking fresh perspectives on what lies ahead in this era of exponential change? Many are turning to foresight professionals (futurists) to assist them in evaluating and shaping longterm business strategies. Impressive examples of great companies who have benefited from tapping the insight of “foresight,” include Royal Dutch/Shell, Dow Chemical, Kellogg's, Hallmark, Proctor & Gamble, Nokia, IBM and British Telecom.
So, while no one can predict the future, not even futurists, everyone can be better prepared for the future by learning to think differently about it.
“The future is taking shape around us now,” McConathy says. “Many people believe they don’t have time to look ahead because they need to focus on making it happen this quarter or this week. Unfortunately, in today’s fastchanging marketplace that just won’t cut it. A company’s competitive edge and often, its survival, depends on its ability to adapt to change and thrive, no matter what lies ahead. While everyone can’t be a futurist, we can learn to think like one. And thinking strategically about the future can empower us to make more informed decisions today.”