I talk to many people about the value of strategic foresight - what it is, why it matters and how to use it in practice. Some people immediately 'get it', others don't and don't want to, and others ask me questions like 'what other companies use this approach?' or 'can you provide some case studies?' Readers will know that I have just a tiny aversion to providing case studies because the best way to know if foresight approaches will work for you is to use them
The conversation about strategy has been changing lately. Conventional strategic planning has passed its use by date. We are moving from its formulaic and top down approach to strategy development where glossy plans are produced but little changes in how things are done to a new way of developing strategy, where everyone in the organisation can be involved and where the process is designed for the needs of each organisation.
I am becoming a follower of the learning by doing approach. In a past life, I believed I learned best by reading and reflecting. If I wanted to see a practical example, I would try it in practice at work (or more realistically, I'd inflict it on my staff), or I would seek out an example sourced from an internet search. It never occurred to me to ask my teachers for a case study or an example - as far as I can remember anyway. I always thought that it was my job to work out how to use the process.
When I established Thinking Futures in 2007, I saw the name as an abbreviation for 'thinking about possible futures'. Over time I've adapted that in my mind to 'thinking in new ways about the future'. I've talked about the need to change how we think about the future in writing, in webinars and workshops, but I don't think I've ever really been able to articulate what it meant.
You hit an assumption wall because new information is being presented about changes shaping the future of your organisation. The assumption wall triggers a reaction that defends current ways of knowing and understanding the world. It's equivalent to the amygdala generating flight or fight responses when we face physical danger. Reactions like 'no, that won't happen' is a flight response - it means that you don't have to deal with the issue, that you can ignore it and return to your comfort zone of today's certainties.