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Foresight helps your organization to stay relevant. It should be a crucial part of your strategic intelligence, say both strategy and futures studies researchers.
Foresight and Profitability
In fact, if foresight is absent or done wrong, it can lead to future profitability loss of up to 44% (compared to the industry average).
In 2018, colleague futures researchers Rohrbeck and Kum published this result from a 7-year study of 83 organizations. They assessed the foresight activities of the organizations and measured their profitability. The bottom 20% of organizations varied in profitability loss between 37 and 44%.
The good news is that the top 20% were more profitable than average: a whopping +33%.
Driving Foresight Success
Investing in and committing to foresight account for half of its success. The other half is split between many factors. These range from talent and slack to the volatility of your organizational environment. So if you want to leapfrog to future success, increasing investment and commitment will have the largest effect.
What's Good Foresight?
Successful CEOs devote twice the time to foresight than the average CEO. They spend the equivalent of 2 days per week on foresight. A ten-year study called the CEO Genome project asked hundreds of CEOs and published this result in 2021.
But how can they allocate so much time, you might ask?
Firstly, they have integrated foresight into processes and discussions. For instance, they turned the weekly management meeting and bilaterals partly into a foresight activity.
Secondly, they delegated much of the scanning and vision development to cross-functional teams. In heterogeneous teams, individual blind spots are filled with the expertise of others.
Team members learn to think strategically and contribute to higher decision rationality and organizational flexibility.
Involving the organization accelerates both foresight and strategic power.
So nice to meet you here.
I'm futurist Barbara...
After 20 years in the boardrooms of mid-sized organization, earning my Ph.D. in managerial foresight and generally being obsessed with "what's REALLY going on" since I could argue, my passion is working with peers to discover and reduce the myopia of their organizations.
I find it rewarding to give executives the foresight tools to perfect strategic decisions because it sets entire organizations in motion.
Live long & prosper ;)