In order to be fit for the future we first need to be keeping our eye on the future. This of course sounds obvious to you and yet it is frightening how many businesses are backward looking or at best focused on only the next quarter’s results. As leaders we need to lift our focus so that we can identify the exciting trends coming over the horizon. The future is happening all around us often even at the fringes. We just need to be looking.
For example, one of the iconic questions about the future is when will we have flying cars? The answer is we already do. Last year Terrafugia, an aeronautical engineering company, received FAA regulatory approval of their “roadable aircraft” Terrafugia means “escape from earth” and the company has announced that the first customer delivery of their car-plane is expected in late 2012. (If you are interested in learning more about flying cars you can view Anna Mracek Dietrich, the COO of Terrafugia, presenting at TED. There is even rumours that The Stig will be test driving a flying car in the near future- a Top Gear episode not to miss!
The point we want to make is that exploring the edges often reveals great business opportunities. Apple did not invent digital music or the smartphone but they were keenly observing disruptive technologies at the fringes; lifting their focus to discover the next big thing. In your role as a leader of your organisation are you observing the fringes of your industry and those around you to identify disruptive forces? It could help you identify the next break-through product or service.
We have several future focused tools that could help you get there.
TIDES – a Tool for understanding tomorrow
To understand “tomorrow” we use a model called TIDES, which analyses the impact of disruptive forces on people and business. We are constantly researching and providing strategic insights on the impact that Technology, Institutions, Demography, Environment and Social values are having on how people live, work and play.
SCRIPTS – A tool for preparing for the future today
To be successful we cannot always rely on what we have done in the past. As Peter Drucker, the great management guru, said, the greatest danger during times of change is not the turbulence but acting with yesterday’s logic. TomorrowToday has a model that helps leaders challenge yesterday’s logic and create new blueprints that make their organisation fit for the future and fit for human beings. We call this model SCRIPTS, and by examining the roles of Story-telling, Collaboration, Innovation, People, Transparency and Strategy, this framework helps leaders rethink the fundamental assumptions they have about capitalism, business and life at work in order to build new scripts for success.
You can learn more about SCRIPTS on our website
Strategic Insights on the future
We have an accomplished Strategic Insights Unit headed up by former GFK NOP MD Catherine Garland. We have undertaken several studies on the future of shipping, e-banking, insurance and retail industry. These are bespoke research studies. If you are interested in undertaking a futures study on your industry or aspects of your business, please contact James Dunne who’d be happy to connect with you and learn more about your requirements.
Some of our strategic futures studies soon to be undertaken include: The Future of Marketing; The Future of Employee Engagement and the Future of Cyber Security