The rationale for building an internal foresight capacity
At its core, foresight helps you better understand change shaping your organisation’s future. Most decisions in organisations today – whether those decisions are strategic or operational – are made based on what is known on the past and the future. In times of relative stability, that’s fine. In times of continuing change where conventional approaches don’t achieve desired outcomes, a different approach is needed to design proactive responses.
Foresight is an individual capacity that can be developed, shared and used in collaborative processes to think in new ways about the future of your organisation and develop a long term perspective to inform strategic decision making today.
Foresight infused strategy processes build futures ready strategy – flexible strategy that positions your organisation in its environment to enable it to respond quickly and effectively to the challenges and uncertainties of the future. It is strategy built on long term thinking and is generated by facing the future not constraining thinking about change to the past and present.
Rather than seeking certainty, a foresight capacity allows people to engage with the uncertainty of complexity and disruptive change being faced today, both in terms of understanding what that change means for your organisation and in developing proactive strategic responses to that change.
How a foresight capacity emerges
First, individuals surface their foresight capacities, recognising the value of thinking about the future through organisational training and capacity building.
As an increased number of staff are exposed to and use foresight approaches, a tipping point is reached.
With a critical mass of foresight trained staff in the organisation, a strategic foresight capacity starts to emerge. It is this capacity that allows the development of futures ready strategy.
The aim is to move foresight from individuals thinking about the future to the organisational strategy space where foresight approaches can be used to create a shared and collective view of the preferred future of the organisation.
This shift means moving foresight from unconscious in individuals to overt in strategy development, implicit to explicit processes and from solitary to collective activity.
Building your organisation’s foresight capacity
Thinking Futures offers a set of capacity building services that help you build an internal foresight capacity over time. These services are designed to build foresight skills and knowledge and allow you to use foresight in your organisational strategy both as individuals and in teams.
The courses cover both basic and advanced aspects of using foresight in organisational strategy.
The first course is now available: What is this foresight thing all about?
Future courses will cover environmental scanning, strategic thinking, using scenarios, and foresight infused strategy.
Workshops are usually held over one day and provide more detailed information and interactions about doing strategic foresight in practice.
Currently, training in using environmental scanning is offered. Three types of training is provided:
- basic, introductory training designed for people who know little or nothing about using foresight,
- advanced training for people who are familiar with foresight and who want to increase their skills and knowledge, and
- a three day workshop for designing an organisational foresight system.
A coaching service is provided to support people leading projects to use foresight in their organisations.