We need to have this conversation because we need clarity around the work of professional futurists, what we do and how we do it. We need to accept that prediction for long term purposes is passe, unhelpful and a waste of time. We need to work together to create a foundation that welcome all thinkers, that seeks to integrate methods and approaches to provide a more inclusive toolbox to choose from ...
The most important characteristic of professional futurists is that they have an open, curious mind and seek to integrate not reject different ways of thinking about the future. Challenging deeply held and unquestioned assumptions and ideologies is part of the field if you seek to integrate rather than dismiss - and that includes our own.
For some time now I've been using this graphic to talk about the steps involved in futures ready strategy development. I decided to turn it into a circle to make the circular and interdependent nature of the process a bit clearer but never got around to doing it. And I realised a little while ago that there was something missing from the process - an evaluation or check in stage, where you can stop and review how you are going, is everything still relevant?
Here's a graphic that summarises the basic steps in the process of environmental scanning. Different people and organisations and groups will have their own version of this but ultimately when you scan you need to know four things.
Download my free scanning guide here to find out more about scanning and how to do it in practice.
Because how your future and your organisation's future evolves from the myriad of possible futures out there depends on surfacing your foresight capacity, your cognitive capacity to think in new ways about those futures. That's what I wanted to help people do in 2007 and it's what I do now.
The thinking part is what I kept coming back to when I was thinking about a name. It was because 'thinking' is what you do when you are finding your way through possible 'Futures'. But that's too long for a business name. But I realised why I wanted to call my business Thinking Futures.