7 Reasons to Include Foresight in Your Thinking

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent,
but rather the one most responsive to change.”
-Charles Darwin

How to respond to change and build resilience? 

Here are 8 common points among those successful at responding to change, transforming themselves and building resilience.

1.     We live in a VUCA world 

  • The term “VUCA” (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) was coined by the US military to describe the environment that emerged after the Cold War. But today, VUCA describes the chaos and instability many of us feel in an average day.
  • VUCA can increase your stress, but it doesn’t have to —especially once you learn that there are ways to navigate it.[2]

2.     Complex systems mean changes in one system affect all others

  • Complex adaptive systems manage themselves through being aware of their environment.
  • Large complex systems can be transformed by a single shift, or small sub-systems shifting the ballgame, without warning, using few and simple rules. [3]

3.     Foresight enables a continuous system-thinking approach to the future

  • They have learned that continually searching for emerging trends, tipping points and weak signals is a vital intelligence tool to help them survive and thrive in an ever more competitive future.
  • Sporadic analysis is no longer enough to cope with rapid change.

4.     Future thinking is STEM friendly

  • STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • The future is not completely predetermined, inevitable or fixed = multiple degrees of freedom allowed-for and even designed into methods and practices allow us to exercise choices to create alternative futures.
  • Where the future is predictable, it’s practically Newtonian. Future outcomes can be influenced by our action or inaction today = cause & effect, aka consequences AND responsibility.

5.     Future thinking assumes that there are multiple futures

  • An increasing number of drivers are reshaping companies’ and industry’s business contexts; such as climate change, globalization, new technology, regulatory change, demographics, and new consumer values.
  • Shaping the world we want means being more aware of the future and seeking better approaches. [4]

6.     Trends are only trends until they bend

  • Those who spot new trends through strategic foresight and exploit them early have competitive advantage over the less prepared.
  • Those that create or join quickly, and then leave an emerging market just before it peaks are those achieving the best performance.

7.     Rather than making predictions, we are proactively dealing with the future

  • Forward-thinking people do not attempt to predict the future but are putting in place holistic systems and repeatable processes that anticipate possible futures and determine their response to them.
  • Understanding of changes across the political, economic, social, and technological fields enable deep understanding and interpretation about future consumer expectations and desires.[5]

POWERUP with Strategic Foresight
Anticipating the future and preparing for it early means setting up for success and fast-fail tolerance. By better preparing themselves, change leaders continuously enhance their agility, capability, and efficiency to withstand emerging change and future shocks and make better and earlier decisions than their rivals. [6], [7]


[3] The Road Ahead for Research on Strategic Foresight Insights from the 1st European Conference on Strategic Foresight
[5] Shaping Tomorrow pf-complete.pdf
[6] Shaping Tomorrow pf-complete.pdf
[7] Shaping Tomorrow pf-complete.pdf

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