Our view : Results from a recent ETION survey indicate that FuturesThinking in Flanders’ Firms is still immature and concrete action is required. As far as foresight capabilities are concerned there is a need to go beyond SWOT and brainstorming. To be successful Corporate Foresight requires a structured and continuous approach.
About the ETION study
From megatrends to fashion trends. Each branch or public policy domain has its own trend reports describing the bigger and smaller evolutions shaping the future. As organizations rely on the environment for their success, gaining insight in current and future developments in their ecosystem can be very useful.
To what extent are firms looking forward in order to anticipate the future? And what are the trends and developments that really matter for companies? These were the two central questions in an ETION survey they conducted in companies in Flanders and Brussels.
It is often said that our society changes fast and disruptively. Looking forward by imagining the future before it develops itself, can foster a proactive approach to these changes. Therefore the ETION study also looked into the practice of futures thinking in the business world: what methods are used, ref. below diagram.
To be able to compete today, tomorrow and the day after, it is not enough to do one-off organisational work. You need to organise to drive innovation in several horizons. According to Steve Coley (2009), innovation work can be divided into three parallel horizons. The first horizon (H1) is about incremental innovation in today’s business, extending the existing S-curve of the company. Horizon 2 (H2) is about expanding and building new business (the next coming S-curve, a mix of incremental and radical innovation) through innovation. Horizon 3 (H3) is an explorative and radical approach to future S-curves, to be commercialised in H2, ending up in H1.
The Itonics platform facilitates to manage your innovation portfolio according to time Continue reading
Incumbents needn’t be victims of disruption if they recognize the crucial thresholds in their life cycle, and act in time. Great video from McKinsey within their series on digital disruption. For us it illustrates clearly why establishing a structural corporate foresight capability beyond the current digital disruption will be crucial for future success.
Quite a telling story by R. Hamers, CEO ING Group on what makes real strategic change happen, reflecting on the success of ING Direct and taking it forward to Fintech. A lot of good learning points embedded in the presentation.
The strategy applied aligns well with the Three Box Approach.
White paper from ITONICS, our strategic technology partner.
“An organization that has no idea about the future does not have a future. Of course the future can only be understood and planned to a certain extent. Targeted innovation management, however, helps companies to identify and pick up on trends and technologies in good time and channel them to create targeted innovations. This paper outlines the processes required to do this from the environmental analysis to brainstorming through to the planning of the market launch. In particular, the early stage of the innovation process has to date been neglected in innovation management.
This paper presents a holistic, IT-supported innovative approach from environmental scanning through to the innovation roadmap and deals with the challenges faced in its implementation.”
The Foresight Guide provides information about foresight and prepares readers to create, anticipate, and manage the future by understanding foresight and the tools that professionals use to better work with the future. The Foresight Guide includes survey answers from members in a 3,500+ professional network (including ourselves), lists of resources and websites for more information, and suggestions on how to get started or expand your own foresight career or successfully implement foresight thinking in your current profession. The Foresight Guide is a first of its kind e-book written by FERN co-founder John Smart with chapters by Josh Davis, Susan Fant and Anna-Leena Vasamo.
Review the guide.
In case you are in need of further guidance, tailored training, hands-on workshops or coaching, please do not hesitate to contact us.
“Planned opportunism” is Vijay Govindaraja’s term for responding to an unpredictable future by paying attention to weak signals—early evidence of emerging trends from which it is possible to deduce important changes in demography, technology, customer tastes and needs, and economic, environmental, regulatory, and political forces. That attention gives rise to fresh perspectives and nonlinear thinking, which help an organization imagine and plan for various plausible futures. Planned opportunism is a discipline that creates a “circulatory system” for new ideas; develops the capacity to prioritize, investigate, and act on those ideas; and builds an adaptive culture that embraces continual change.
We couldn’t agree more and highly recommend reading the article at https://hbr.org/2016/05/planned-opportunism . The messages expressed align very well with our approach re Trends mgt and the identification of opportunity spaces.
A pragmatic, powerful and purposeful new framework for making strategic innovation work. It balances creating the future, managing the present, and forgetting (selectively) the past. Its structure and overall philosophy will certainly appeal to business leaders. We are believers and we will certainly apply it within our consulting work.
Watch the video from Vijay Govindarajan
Innovation is a process, and while the introduction of a genuinely innovative product or service may be highly publicized or even glamorous, the process itself is driven much less by creative brainstorming or strategic planning than by carefully managed and highly-sophisticated cross-disciplinary thinking and research. Readers will learn how to manage the critically important first steps from Idris Mootee.
Read more on how to create future opportunity spaces.