According to Amy Webb, world-renowned authority on strategic foresight for business, today many industries are asking the same question: What is the future? Read this article to discover how to develop a strategic vision. Amy Webb will join the first edition of WOBI Management Week (June 28 – July 1, 2021), a 4-day digital event with world class business thought leaders that will address the latest trends and ideas in today’s most relevant management topics.
People are emotionally addicted to certainty. We believe that we can control the future through certainties and that we can obtain these certainties through the collection of sufficient data. In times of uncertainty we must open our minds and value alternative possibilities that will adapt to the situations that may arise. It is important to consider all the emerging data that is being created in real time in order to foresee different scenarios.
It is time to have courage and willingness to take organizations into the future in these times of uncertainty. But the truth is that uncertainty does not have to be synonymous with risk. It means being flexible, while maintaining our vision for the future. That’s what a futurist does. To achieve this, Webb recommends following three key steps:
- Address your core beliefs
The profound uncertainty in these times produces two types of organizations, those that find the way and those that stay on the sidelines. The companies that find the way are characterized by:
- Having a strategic forecasting process.
- Being open to alternative versions of the future.
- Dealing with uncertainty using data.
- Looking intentionally at adjacent areas of disturbance.
- Being willing to be flexible, to recalibrate the strategy.
While companies that stay on the side of the road, watching, are characterized by:
- Not having a strategic forecasting process.
- Believing that they control the future.
- Being closed off to alternative versions of the future.
- Ignoring uncertainty until a crisis erupts.
- Preferring the return of the known investment and concrete answers.
- Being vulnerable.
- Identify signs of change
You have to be looking for the signs of change, especially in times of great disruption. The 11 macro sources of change are:
- Public health.
- Media and telecommunications.
- Distribution of wealth.
The key is not to assume that everything matters, but to methodically obtain this data and analyze it to determine what does matter and what are the present signs that speak about the future.
- Prioritize next steps
One of the problems for companies is that much of the data they collect goes nowhere. Forecasting goes beyond detecting signals and data. You have to know what the trend is and then move on to the next step. Create scenarios that describe possible outcomes. You have to know what you are monitoring, what decisions are going to be made and what actions are going to allow you to move forward.
If you want to learn more, don’t miss Amy Webb in WOBI Management Week, who will explore the emerging tech trends and show you how to prepare yourself and your business for the next disruption.