What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient but restless mind, of sacrificing one’s ease or vanity, or uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully.
- Victor Cherbuliez

It has been long debated if there is a return on investment for organizations to adopt foresight activities. Well here are five tangible and intangible outcomes of establishing foresight activities within your organization.

Profits and Revenue

Despite what might seem like a deep and scary hole of sunk costs, if done correctly, then foresight activities can have a huge impact on your organization. A study in 2018, matching mega data between 2008 and 2015(7 year period), firms having established foresight activities outperformed the average by 33% higher profitability, and 200% in growth. …

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Companies are starting to see that they need to utilize foresight as an advanced innovation process for seeking new business opportunities. This article will cover the different elements of foresight and what do you need know to get the right composition of your future exploration team.

Faces of Foresight

First, you need to understand that there are several faces of foresight, and depending on your industry it may be more intensive than the other. However, it is still a best practice to have a team of mixed backgrounds, even if you’re intensively foresighting technology for opportunities. …

Google has recently revealed Stadia, a cloud gaming service that is supposed to take the gaming world by storm. What we know right now about what they released is that the gamer can seamlessly play games across many consoles right from their Chrome browser with no download or installation time needed. I’ll let you check out all the features by yourself from their keynote announcement. It may seem like a standard “let's take on the gaming industry” move but there is much more than meets the eye. …

The future is unpredictable and we will never truly know how the future will turn out. Through a combination of processes, leveraging knowledge and experiences, we can make the uncertain future more knowable. Some people are better at making good forecasts. We looked at their skill and researched this topic extensively, most of the top forecasters exhibit some or all of these traits listed below.

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  1. Pattern seekers: Spotting patterns and finding unusual connection across domains is a talent not many people have, but the best forecasters hone in on this skill to spot opportunities in the market.
  2. Reflect: Learn to reflect on the previous prediction, actions, and mistakes. The best forecasters tend to constantly reflect on previous decisions, even if they were correct or not. This way forecasters take upon themselves to develop their best practices and avoid any major pitfalls. …

Innovation has been a buzzword almost any organization says it has but is essentially an empty word that is injected with different meanings by anyone who comes across it. To many organizations, this word is the survival of their business. Being related to the Board of Innovation family, there are many ways innovation is addressed; to build up the clients capabilities or assist them to build in businesses/services/products. In the last 20 years, we have seen that many organizations need to change in order to address increasingly strong competition from new entrants (mainly from startups).

Most methods and processes in innovation training are reactive processes organizations take on to develop their innovation capabilities that lead to new businesses. Creating internally a more robust organization that can handle attacks on many fronts, is a defensive measure that allows the organization to forge on to create value for their customers. …

It is starting to feel like we are seeing it over and over again. The Personal Digital Assistant, or more commonly known as PDA(even with cellular functionality), came out years before an iPhone. While many Japanese automobile manufacturers produced electric vehicles before Tesla came into play. Timing these days seem to be even more crucial in a rapidly changing environment, hitting the market little too early could spell disaster or hitting the market too late could mean you’re the laggard business in the market.

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Source: Mircosoft, HoloLens 2 offers new ways for surgeons to plan operations

Although a number of other factors did play a part in the success or failure of these innovations, the timing did play a large part and it can be possible to foresee it. So what does timing mean? What it really means is, are the important success factors for your new business opportunity in place and ready for it. …

It is apparent that 50-year predictions almost never go according to plan, nevermind 300-year predictions. So why are companies still investing heavily in outlandish future scenarios far beyond the scope of predictability? Because what most enterprises believe is that the return on investment (RoI) is far larger if they stay ahead of the competition.

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Often, businesses look far beyond their current capabilities into the future in search of the “Blue Oceans” (Blue Ocean refers to unknown and untapped market space that is full of opportunity and profitable growth). When they find them, they can settle down and cash in on their hard-earned RoI. This is due to the “first mover” advantage and little to no competition. However, once the other sharks get a whiff of your blue ocean, they’re going to look at invading your space. To protect your returns, high barriers of entry are going to deter sharks from trying to take a bite out of your prized fish. …

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I don’t often hear of many startups doing foresight research, nor do I hear many venture capitalists give their opinions on the matter. Is it worth it for them to even get in the field? In an idle world where we live with infinite resources, everyone will want to win the futures game. The truth is Startups and even many VC’s may not have the financial capacity to perceive, prospect and probe their way into high yield opportunities (depending on how far we are looking into the future).

Foresight should still not be ignored! Strategic foresight can still be a winning game. Just like in the story of David vs Goliath, it is all about strategy, execution, and timing. What simple foresight steps can you take today to prepare your organization for the future? …


Jeffery Hansen

Full Stack Innovator |Interested Tech, Society, Anthropology, Startups, and Design.

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