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Gain a competitive advantage by not looking at your crystal ball but by determining the forward-looking actions you need to take. Let’s talk.
Take a look into the future to see how it will affect you and understand what to do.
We know that the present will never last
We help you get ahead of the competition. Make sure you are not left behind. So, we work with you to ask big questions about the future of your organisation and industry. We dig around, looking for perspectives and ideas that define what could happen in the mid to long-term future. In some industries, this can be looking ahead five years, but increasingly it’s next week, in one month or next year.
Looking into the future
Looking at the future of your sector or the world you live in is not about focusing on big smart predictions. It’s about uncovering signals, understanding historical trajectories, connecting and knitting together larger patterns, and bringing alternative voices into your thoughts. It is essential to understand that thinking about tomorrow is not about clever predictions. But instead, imagine the kind of future we want and how we are going to get there. This can be geopolitical, individual or organisational systematic imagining.
But no one can predict the future
No one can predict the future. No one can tell what tech will be around in 10 years. We are getting better at looking into the future, and AI is helping us make better predictions. Concentrating on a single event or piece of technology using a specific question about a particular subject will help improve the prediction. It’s much harder to assess the future on a geopolitical and national economic level. Taking a look at the Bank of England, Federal Reserve and IMF forecasts show that they are as much wrong as they are right. They look for visible signals, but like an iceberg, these signals are likely accompanied by a big lump of substantial disturbance that we can’t see at all. These disturbances cause the signals we can see. But they can also change the signals without notice. Looking to the future means looking deeper to find the disturbances without the signals taking all your attention.
What’s the signal?
Looking at the future is difficult, but it is needed so you can be prepared for what could happen. It brings you a list of possibilities to allow you to be prepared. It’s about trying to build a map of the future and isolating those islands of opportunity and risk. Once you have the list of possibilities, you can then have a list of questions about each one of them. Questions like so what? What can we learn? And what do we want to achieve? What resources do we require?
Like Competitive Intelligence, futurism is not only forward-looking but requires us to think about the actions we need to take. Future signals are all around us right now. You may see something interesting and ask what it is. The next questions to ask are what’s going on and, most importantly, why is it happening. Signals are everywhere. But we live in a noisy world. They can be a new product, a piece of gossip about your competitor, new tech, a new patent application or a boost by a CEO. A news report, a new prototype etc.
It’s essential to look for these signals all the time. See some out of place and ask why. Build these signals with your team. Debate them, agree or dismiss them. Together, determine what to do next. You may see these patterns in historical data or situations. The past trends we keep doing. The patterns we are doing now. History doesn’t repeat itself, but patterns do.
Finding the patterns
Finding patterns is our strength. We understand the big picture and help you see where the patterns are. Clients ask us to find the patterns, uncover the signal and understand the historical significance of their industry. We help them connect signals into more significant patterns, connecting the future and present with the past. Importantly, we help our clients make better choices.