Strategic Foresight: Exploring The Future, Not Predicting It

Strategic Foresight: Exploring The Future, Not Predicting It

by Jenny on April 30, 2021 Comments Off on Strategic Foresight: Exploring The Future, Not Predicting It

I love reading articles and listening to discussions where experts and thought leaders explore “The Future Of…” scenarios of key aspects within day-to-day life. Whether it is the future of work, the future of education, or the future of life at home, I find it energizing to think about how the world of today is shaping the world of tomorrow.

The questions that I hear most often when discussing these topics with others includes what do these people know that the rest of us do not? How are some brands maintaining a competitive edge despite significant market shifts while others are struggling to adapt and adjust?

As we all know, there are no crystal balls or time machines to provide concrete answers for questions about the future. But still, as previously mentioned, experts and thought leaders can confidently discuss what tomorrow might look like in a variety of contexts.

So if having a crystal ball isn’t the answer, what is?

What we have come to realize is that it is not a matter of access to privileged information reserved for a select group of business experts. Rather, it is what we do with the information currently available to everyone that provides us with a glimpse of possible future scenarios. This forward-thinking approach to life and business has greatly influenced my person perspective and the way that we run our business, so I am excited to share a few real-world examples of this concept in action.

Over the past few years, we have continued to encourage our team (and ourselves) to embrace uncertainty as we navigate unfamiliar territory. Part of that ongoing effort is paying close attention to the world around us as it shifts and changes. We then bring our observations together for a collective discussion regarding how the events of today might be shaping the world of tomorrow.

We have also formally incorporated Strategic Foresight into every aspect of our business (from client projects to how we plan for and run our own business).  It has been a game changer in the work that we are doing and as we pursue our own brand growth and development objectives.

The importance of this next part cannot be overstated: Strategic Foresight is not about predicting the future, but rather it is a structured approach to exploring possible future scenarios based on the information we have today. In doing so, we expand our thought boundaries and lift our vision to a more distant time horizon; both of which are key components of effective business planning and brand development. In addition to the tangible business value of Strategic Foresight, I thoroughly enjoy the interesting, enlightening, and fun discussions that continue to arise.

In a recent internal project around “The Future of Customer Insights” we dove deep in pattern recognition and scenario planning.  Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing 5 topics that arose from this project, that I think will be affecting a wide variety of industries and businesses today and in the foreseeable future.

  1. Life From Home
  2. Reputation Currency
  3. Global Social Responsibility
  4. New Rules of Engagement
  5. Hyper-Personalization

 

As our mentors at Kedge (and The Future School) always say, Strategic Foresight is a team sport – we can more value when we discuss our ideas with others.  So as we move through our series, I would LOVE to hear your feedback on each of these topics.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Strategic Foresight or discuss how to guide your own team through the process, feel free to give us a holler!

Jenny

Jenny Dinnen is President of Sales and Marketing at MacKenzie Corporation. Driven to maximize customer's value and exceed expectations, Jenny carries a can-do attitude wherever she goes. She maintains open communication channels with both her clients and her staff to ensure all goals and objectives are being met in an expeditious manner. Jenny is a big-picture thinker who leads MacKenzie in developing strategies for growth while maintaining a focus on the core services that have made the company a success. Basically, when something needs to get done, go see Jenny. Before joining MacKenzie, Jenny worked at HD Supply as a Marketing Manager and Household Auto Finance in their marketing department. Jenny received her undergrad degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and her MBA from the University of Redlands.

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