Anticipating change means understanding the key factors that are shaping the world around you, in a way that empowers you to make wise decisions, develop intelligent strategies, and innovate value for your organization, business or community.
We often hold assumptions about what the future will be like. Some of these assumptions, if they are wrong, may be harmless. But some of our assumptions may not serve us well. Questioning and challenging your assumptions about the future is both a deeply engaging and enjoyable exercise, but it is also essential for long term viability.
Some carry the misconception that we can predict the future. Predicting the future is not possible. There are far too many factors interacting in our world, far too many uncertainties, and the moment something is predicted it changes people’s perceptions about the future – who may then decide on creating an alternative future.
What can be done is ‘anticipation’ that gives us information, knowledge and insights about how our world is changing, which can inform our actions in the present. We can develop our foresight capacity that enhances the quality of our decision-making. Our foresight capacity is always evolving, depending on our methods, information sources, analytic strategies and the quality of our conversations.
Typical approaches we use to help organizations with anticipation include:
· Auditing Foresight Capacity
· Horizon Scanning
· Weak Signal Analysis
· Analysis of Social Change
· Questioning Assumptions
· Scenario Building
· Backcasting and Planning
· Envisioning New Pathways