5 stages of grief for people facing their future

by John Mahaffie on May 22, 2017

In her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified five stages of grief and loss. To anyone trying to get people to face and accept change or the need to change, the stages ring familiar.

Experts in change management recognize this. They have used the stages in identify what happens when people face change. The stages make sense in foresight too. They are a lens for looking at how people cope with the future.


Don’t be a victim of change

by John Mahaffie on May 17, 2017

When you face change, your respsonses fall on a spectrum. Foresight makes sure you are in the right place.

Reactive — Watching and likely being blindsided by change, and only making a move when forced to do so. Often your action is expensive and not effective. You miss opportunities and risk failure and economic loss.

Responsive — Preparing for and responding to emerging, visible change. You gain agility for responding, and may get ahead of crises and seize opportunities.

Proactive — Anticipating and shaping change. You are ready for crises and sharp change. You can seize opportunities ahead of others. 

Never be a victim of change. Anticipate and shape it. Foresight is decisive in making you ready.


7 Deadly sins of foresight

May 9, 2017

1. Ignoring the future (You let today's concerns give you an excuse to not focus on the future) [See: Keep an eye on the future while righting the ship]. 2. Shortsightedness (You only think a few years into the future) [See: The foresight gap: what too many organizations get wrong] 3. Mistaking the present for the […]

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What magicians can teach us about foresight

May 3, 2017

Don't look where the magician wants you to Magicians rely on tricking the eye and the mind to dazzle and puzzle us. How they do it offers cautions for exploring the future. We are easily tricked by the signals of change or blinded to them. How do the things magicians do trick us? Magician Teller of […]

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The five people you meet in bringing futures into an organization

April 25, 2017

Getting an organization to pay attention to the future is hard. There are people you meet along the way that help and others that throw obstacles in your path. Here are the five people you’re likely to meet along the way: 1. The Booster The Booster lets you follow the path you’ve mapped out. Once […]

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Foresight tip: Scan the scanners

April 19, 2017

Environmental scanning (also known as horizon scanning) is part of anticipating the future. It's done by systematically gathering information about current and changing conditions. Good foresight requires environmental scanning for understanding emerging change. Scanning is a lot of work, but other people already do it for you. Being efficient means scanning the scanners. How do […]

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Constrained foresight and what to do about it

April 12, 2017

How often is foresight (or the lack of it) the weakest link in an organization? There are always constraints that limit an organization’s progress. Eliyahu M. Goldratt brought this idea to management science in his “Theory of Constraints”. And one constraint is the “weakest link” for an organization. The bottleneck created when packaging equipment runs […]

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Foresight fuels product and brand innovation

April 5, 2017

You can't innovate in a vacuum. Foresight opens new space for exploring change and discovering opportunities. In product innovation, it’s essential to look beyond the boundaries of the current market for your products. You need to explore at least five or ten years into the future for fresh insights. And you need to test your assumptions about the marketplace […]

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There is no everybody — facing your biases about the world

March 16, 2017

Humans are good at pattern recognition. But we see patterns based on personal experience and things that are close and familiar. This is called confirmation bias because that act of recognition typically confirms what we already believe. See also: Confirmation Bias in Foresight: Scanning to Find What You Already Believe. That is the biggest and most routine bias in observing […]

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The ridiculous scenario

March 14, 2017

"Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous" — Dator's Law, Futurist Jim Dator, University of Hawaii Manoa, [Source]  Jim Dator says that to be useful, a statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous. But we fight the ridiculous trying to be responsbile thinkers about the future.  "Don't waste time, […]

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