Foresight and Future Shaping
Arguably, Future Shaping as a business activity is still in its infancy and is not yet established as a legitimate discipline within the Business Schools. However, over the last decade the field has continued to develop.
Nevertheless, globally, whilst best practices in this field exist, these are neither coherent nor holistic, and whilst it is possible to identify important elements and illustrations, it is too soon in general to identify holistically exemplar organisations. There are a few examples in Retail, such as Amazon & IKEA, and in OEM’s, such as Tesla, but generally these are Marketing focused accounts.
What is true is that in recent years corporate Foresight has become more
professional and widespread and there now are documented examples
of organizations applying corporate Foresight practices including Audi,
BASF, Cisco, Daimler, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telecom, France
Telecom, GE, KPMG, Pepsi, Shell, Siemens and SNCF.
However, it is crucial to distinguish ‘Future Shaping’ from related
concepts such as ‘Futures’, ‘Futures Studies’ and ‘Foresight’. The
‘Shaping’ word is significant in that rather than passively focusing
on the future and emerging trends & scenarios with an emphasis
on description and just possibly response, Future Shaping places full
emphasis on the need to proactively plan and shape the future in line
with corporate Vision and objectives.
The following quote from Bruce Lloyd illustrates this well: “The future is
not something that happens to us. It is the world we weave from the
confluence of past gifts, present decisions and future-directed action.”
When we discuss Future Shaping, our interest is not primarily on how your company will affect and shape the society and world about it, but on how it will shape its own role, place and position. Our interest is not narrowly on how the future will shape your company, but how your company will shape the future.
Professor Tony Bendell, author of the book Building Anti-Fragile Organisations, is offering the unique opportunity to discuss how Foresight and Future Shaping could benefit your organisation. In a no obligation telephone call, you will be able to discuss your organisations needs and ask any questions you may have. You will also be able to learn how the Anti-Fragility Academy could assist you.