Why This Book?
You will find many books on trends shaping the future, about what the future might look like in ‘x’ number of years, how the foresight field is emerging and the latest methods to use. If that’s what you are looking for, this is not the book for you.
One of my guiding principles since establishing Thinking Futures in 2007 has been to share information on what I know about using foresight as widely as I can. I wrote my three Strategic Futures Guides in 2007, 2009 and 2013 and my Reference Guide in 2015, I run webinars and share resources as part of how I enact this principle in my work. This book is published with a Creative Commons License so that it is accessible and usable in practice. I am also working to help people starting out with using foresight through my free membership program that I am now developing.
This book replaces my three existing Strategic Futures Guides:
- Using Futures Approaches: a guide to getting started,
- Environmental Scanning: what it is and how to do it, and
- Strategic Thinking: what it is and how to do it.
These guides had similar content so it made sense to combine them to put everything you need to use foresight in your strategy development is in one book. Writing the book has also given me the opportunity to update and revise that content to include more recent research on foresight.
Maree Conway describes her book, Foresight Infused Strategy, as being “the book I wish I’d had when I was asked to ‘do foresight’ at Swinburne University in 1999. It’s a personal book, a sharing of my learning, knowledge and experience to give you the basics, so that you don’t have to spend six months finding out about foresight like I did then.” It integrates and updates Maree’s three Strategic Futures Guides”, published since 2007. The chapters are built around the components of a futures project, with an opening chapter that reflects on Maree’s own experience as an organisational futurist … I enjoyed the application of Wilber/ Slaughter’s four quadrants, which is under-used in the UK. Andrew Curry, Editor, APF Compass, April 2016, page 26.
— Marisa McArthur (@Marisa_McArthur) June 16, 2016
What’s in the Book?
The book is designed to provide you with enough information to help you move away from conventional strategic planning and infuse foresight into your strategy development process. Like all previous publications from Thinking Futures, the book’s purpose is to help people like you move beyond formulaic planning and superficial approaches to using foresight to craft futures ready strategy. Here’s the table of contents.
- Why Foresight and Foresight Infused Strategy?
- The Value of Foresight Approaches
- Moving Beyond Case Studies and Best Practice
- Why This Book?
- How the Book is Organised
2 My Foresight Journey
- Learning about Foresight at Swinburne
- A New Leader: Killing Foresight Softly
- At Victoria University
- Some Reflections
3 A Conceptual Framework
- Foresight Principles
- Different Types of Futures
- Short and Long Term Thinking
- Challenging Assumptions
- A Word about Worldviews
- A Conceptual Framework for Foresight
- My Conceptual Base
- Bringing Slaughter and Wilber Together
4 About Foresight and Strategy
- About Foresight
- Linking Foresight and Strategy
- Conventional Strategic Planning Challenges
- The Solution: From Strategic Planning to Foresight Infused Strategy
- Using Foresight for Strategy
- The Generic Foresight Process Framework
- Other Foresight Frameworks
- Making Strategy
5 Using Foresight: Getting Started
- Your Positioning: 10 Questions
- Prerequisites for Successful Foresight Practice
- What’s next?
6 Using Foresight: Methods Overview
- When to Use a Method
- Foresight Diamond
- Input Methods
- Analytic Methods
- Interpretive Methods
- Prospective Methods
7 Using Foresight: Environmental Scanning
- Defining Environmental Scanning
- Different Scanning Modes
- Getting Started
- A Scanning Framework: Focusing Your Scan
- What You Will Find
- Where to Start Looking
- Knowing When a Scanning Hit is Useful
- Counter Trends and Wildcards
- Recording your Scanning Hits
- Analysing Your Scanning
- One Organisational Scanning Process
8 Using Foresight: Strategic Thinking
- Defining Strategic Thinking
- Strategic Thinking in Organisations
- Strategic Thinking and Conventional Business Thinking
- Taking time to think strategically
- Strategic Thinking in Practice
9 Lessons from the field
- Introducing Foresight
- Understand Organisational Politics … at least a little
- Picking the Right People
- Start at Both Ends of the Organisation
- Contexts Matter
- Implementation will take time
- Challenging Status Quo Thinking
- Challenges You Might Face
10 Parting words …
- Some Self Reflection Questions