7 first steps for building an organization’s foresight

April 14, 2014

Are you in a place where you want to kick-start foresight, but you are not sure how to start? You can start simple and you can succeed. But you probably can’t just leap in with a big splash, even if you’re the chief. You need to lay some groundwork. Below are seven ways to get […]

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Futurist as Missionary, Salesperson, Politician, Counselor

April 3, 2014

Ultimately, your efforts around foresight–for their relevance, for their impact, for the willingness of your stakeholders to engage and get behind them, come down to agency*. How much room for action, maneuver, and strategy do you have or can you have? Your degree of agency will shape expectations that you or the team you work […]

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Every little act changes the future

April 1, 2014

For this little thought experiment, a tip of the pen goes to Tomás Vargas, a young man of sixteen who likes to ask questions, to ponder, to turn thinking upside down and try it out a different way. So regular and wide-ranging are his musings, I’ll bet he won’t even remember his comment to me […]

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What people say when you ask them to think about the future

March 18, 2014

Here are four things I hear all the time from folks I am working with, their reactions to me pushing them to think about the future. “Thinking ten years in the future is really hard” Yes, but the rewards are great in exploring the possibilities, as best as you can, and discovering a range of futures […]

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Regret shapes the future, but so does satisfaction

March 10, 2014

In a controlled study, researchers found people routinely willing to swap similar pens with others, but less willing to exchange lottery tickets. The reason? The lottery ticket in your hand has a potential future value which may—you don’t know—exceed that of another ticket. You don’t want to swap away a ticket that might turn out […]

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Is your focus past or forward?

March 7, 2014

This blog post from a couple of years ago Are You a Paster, Presentist, or Futurist? offers a nice thought experiment on the idea that people may be focused past, on the present, or toward the future. It’s not deeply developed in the piece, but the idea is one worth exploring, and it fits my discoveries about […]

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Organizational DNA and readiness for the future

May 29, 2013

It can make a difference in an organization as it grapples with change to have a breadth of experience and perspectives among its staff and leaders. But too often, organizations unwittingly push out the people with different perspectives and thinking styles, favoring those with a familiar background, mental makeup, and so on. It’s a mistake. […]

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May 24, 2013

For some thoughts on anachronisms in foresight and fiction writing, see my post at JohnMahaffie.com, “Anachronisms“

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Foresight: Seeing the big in the small

May 23, 2013

A problem I face when deciding what ideas about the future to share is that people tend to have heard of most cutting-edge things I might tell them. Why is that? It’s because the future is well known, or at least specific things about it are. But sitting just behind the “famous” truths about the […]

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Not good enough

May 20, 2013

There’s bad news for an awful lot of organizations. Their grip on the future is weak or nothing. They react, instead of responding and acting. Their view is narrow instead of broad. They think they know the future, but their grip on it is superficial at best. Why? Ideas about change and the future come […]

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