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The Future is NOW

A presentation about how future forecasting can help organizations increase their strategic abilities to deal with rapid and unexpected change.

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The Future is NOW

  1. 1. Presented by Manie Bosman
  2. 2. Session 2
  3. 3. 2.1 The Practice of “Futuring” • What is Strategic Foresight”? • Is the Future Fixed? • How does Change Occur? • What is Changing Where? • Methods for Futuring2.2 Scenario Excercise • Building the Scenario Framework • Constructing the Scenarios • Implications of Your Scenarios
  4. 4. What is „Strategic Foresight‟?• Today change is the only constant.• SF is not predicting the future, but ANTICIPATING it.• Creating shared long-term visions/pictures to facilitate informed short-term decision- making.• Identify influencers of the future.• Timely strategic ACTION - not to be caught ‘unaware’ by the future.• Can actively influence ‘shapes of things to come’ to organization’s advantage.
  5. 5. Is the Future “Fixed”?• The future is plural – many possible alternatives.• Can know most plausible futures, cannot tell until it happens.4 types of futures:• Conceivable or possible futures: All the futures that we could think of;• Plausible futures: all the futures that what could be;• Probable futures: most likely futures;• Preferable Futures: the futures that we would prefer - our future of choice.
  6. 6. The Cone of Plausibility The number of plausible futures increase as we move further away from the present moment.
  7. 7. Images of Things to ComeWatch the “Images of Our Time”-video (4 min)• Our images could be shaping or influencing the future on 2 levels: - Events that occur today have direct consequences in the future. - Images serve as our motifs and guiding stars which we pursue.• Leaders can use strong visions to present clear and attractive images of the future that would compel people to strive towards fulfilling them.
  8. 8. The “What” and “Where” of Change Driving Forces of Change:• Constants: things which are not changing over a specific time period.• Cycles: things which change and then change back.• Trends: things which change in one direction over long periods of time.• Issues: things which people disagree about and for which they have to make a decision.• Events: things which have just happened that are still affecting the future.
  9. 9. The Domains of Global Change:• Demographic: having to do with the size and characteristics of populations.• Ecological: having to do with nature.• Technological: having to do with ways of manipulating the physical world.• Economic: having to do with the production, exchange and consumption of goods and services.• Political: having to do with collective decision making.• Sociocultural: involving both social and cultural factors.
  10. 10. Change Drivers & Domains DOMAINS Constants Cycles Trends Events Issues Rise & fall of More World Cup Should weSociocultural Modernization spirituality protect the civilizations Soccer 2010 at work Afrikaans? Knowledge- BP deploys Should they Electrical innovation- More cloudTechnological current cap to stop continue US technology- computing oil spill Space Program? product Japan launch Should they National Less new Economic Recession pro-growth set fixed rate currencies car sales policy for SA Rand? Island Drakensberg El Nino – More Global Island volcano Ecological volcano Mountains La Niña Warming eruption eruption President Political Parliamentary More media Israel attack Should we Executive control in SA Gaza boats Elections vote for ACDP? Head Ethnic More Civil service Should we curbDemographic Immigration overpopulation? diversity urbanization strike
  11. 11. Methods for Futuring Collecting Information:• Horizon Scanning: Systematic survey of information sources.• Trend Analysis: In-depth look at all issues and elements related to a trend.• Trend Monitoring: Continuously monitoring of important trend.• Trend Projection: Plotting of numerical data to give visual presentation of changes.• Historical Analysis: Past events is scrutinized and analyzed to anticipate current and future developments.
  12. 12. Processing the Data:• Polling: Consulting with experts who are knowledgeable on the relevant issue.• Brainstorming: New ideas are generated through small group interaction.• Gaming: Participants are placed in mock situations where they play different roles.• Modeling & Simulation: Future outcomes are determined by using computers to simulate outcomes in the real world. (Continued on next page)
  13. 13. Processing the Data:• Visioning: Specific goals and action plans are constructed and shared for implementation in larger group or the organization.• Scenarios: Identifying possibilities of what might happen, and constructing these into stories and pictures of what the future might look like.
  14. 14. Approaches to Future Change Control Fence-sitters Control-freaks 3 4Uncertainty Certainty 2 1 Dice-rollers Fatalists Absence of Control
  15. 15. Approaches to Future Change• 1st Quadrant (BOTTOM RIGHT): Fatalists who know what will happen, but feel they cannot do anything about it.• 2nd Quadrant (BOTTOM LEFT): Dice-rollers who believe everything happens by chance and they have no control over it.• 3rd Quadrant (TOP LEFT): Fence-sitters who feel a level of control, but are unsure and hesitant.• 4th Quadrant (TOP RIGHT): Control-freaks who think they know what will happen because they believe they are completely in control.
  16. 16. The “mind of a fox”: Control Options Decisions 3 4Uncertainty Certainty 2 1 -Key uncertainties Rules of -Scenarios the game Absence of Control
  17. 17. Thinking with the “mind of a fox”• 1st Quadrant (BOTTOM RIGHT): Rules of the game – things that are certain & uncontrollable.• 2nd Quadrant (BOTTOM LEFT): Has 2 components – (1) critical uncertainties which are uncontrollable; and (2) plausible and relevant scenarios derived from these uncertainties.• 3rd Quadrant (TOP LEFT): Options - things we can do (over which we have some control) even though the results are still uncertain.• 4th Quadrant (TOP RIGHT): Decisions we make based on the preferred scenario (or outcome) and preferred options (from the previous quadrant).
  18. 18. Building the Scenarios• STEP 1: Complete the Scenario Framework Table by using current sources of information on your organization and its environment.• STEP 2: Choose a time horizon between five and fifteen years.• STEP 3: Describe the focal issue or critical decision that the scenarios are to illuminate.• STEP 4: Complete at least one Scan Hits Form.• STEP 5: Complete the Actors/Stakeholders Form. (Continued on next page)
  19. 19. (continued) High impact/medium probability futures• STEP 6: Describe the conditions and driving forces outside the organization (trends, events High and issues) that are influencing and shaping the future.• STEP 7: List the driving forces that are both highly important in their impact and highly Impact uncertain in their outcome.• STEP 8: Build scenario logics that vary according to different outcomes for two of the most critical uncertainties listed in STEP SEVEN.• STEPLow Create titles for the logics/scenarios. 9: Medium Probability High• STEP 10: Write the scenarios (500 words).
  20. 20. Implications of Your Scenarios• List opportunities and threats that each scenario presents to your focal issue.• Ask and discuss questions such as: - how would the stakeholders change under each scenario? - how would each scenario influence your competitors, suppliers, and customers? - What needs to be changed, re-aligned or even abolished if this particular future occurs? - What challenges would the staff face in light of the alternative futures? - What implications do these scenarios have for decisions and current strategies?
  21. 21. Summary:• There are many possible futures.• It is possible to influence the occurance of our preferable futures.• Strategic foresight enable organizations to anticipate the future and plan accordingly.• Scenarios and other futuring methods increase our ability to gain strategic foresight.
  22. 22. Session 2
  23. 23. Example Framework Table# Driving Force Descriptions/Assumptions Status Pre-scan Sources Philadelphia Project Philadelphia’s commitment is to increase its1. Mission and Values Stable Strategic Plan: 2009- leadership training program in Africa. 2014 Philadelphia believes that the need for trained State of2. leaders in the African Church is large and Increasing Operation world, 2001. Marketplace growing. Philadelphia assumes that the economies of Economic African states will continue to suffer, increasing3. Increasing News Media (general) Conditions the need for external sponsorship for leadership programs. Philadelphia assumes that quality and Information and Technological4. availability of communication technology in Increasing Communication Change Africa will improve. Technologies. Philadelphia believes that political stability will5. Political Conditions Increasing News Media (general) soon be restored in Zimbabwe and Madagascar. Aggressive and strategic propagation of Islam Social / Religious6. has the potential to increase its growth and Increasing Interviews Change resistance to Christianity, especially in Malawi.
  24. 24. Example Scan Hit Form New cable to bring low cost broadband Title Author Peter Benedict connectivity to Africa. Brief source Alcatel-Lucent press release Date June 9, 2010 STEEP Category/s Technology Keywords Africa, broadband, cable, telecommunications, high-speed. URL Type Actual event New trend New cycle New plan Potential event New information New issue (underline one) Alcatel-Lucent has signed a contract with Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) to install a 17 000km submarine ultra-fast broadband cable systemBrief description of the that will connect South Africa to France, with 23 African countries linked up along the way. This cable, with a speed of 5,12 terabits/sec, item will help increase sub-Saharan Africa’s data capacity to 20 terabits/sec by the end of 2012. The network will also bring broadband optical data connectivity to eight African countries that don’t have broadband at present. Internet connectivity in Africa is generally slower, more unstable and more expensive than in the developed world. This cable will radically How could the future increase the data capacity, quality and stability of sub-Saharan Africa’s broadband connectivity. Competing with the existing Seacom-cablebe different as a result? (1,28 terabits/sec) and the Wacs (West African Cable System) which is set to become functional in 2011, the new system will also contribute to bring down data prices on the continent, making internet and data services accessible to millions of people. …Stakeholder name: The Philadelphia ProjectWhat are the potential With bases in four different countries the Philadelphia Project has to rely on communication technology for various aspects of its internal implications for…? and external communication functions. The new cable could radically improve these communication systems in the countries where Philadelphia operates, thereby improving the organization’s communication and management functionality. It could also open new possibilities of online learning and information access for Philadelphia’s staff and students. Overall effect Confirming Creating Disconfirming Impact Plausibility 4 5 (underline one) (baseline assumptions) (a new assumption) (baseline assumption) (0-5) (0-5) Baseline, new or Philadelphia assumes that quality and availability of communication Novelty Timeliness 5 2 resolved scenario(s) technology in Africa will improve (assumption nr 4). (0-5) (0-5) Date Scanner Manie Bosman June 9, 2010 Submitted
  25. 25. Example High Impact / Uncertain Outcome Forces Force Direction A Direction B1. Dependence on foreign aid More dependant Less dependant2. HIV/Aids Pandemic Increase Decrease3. Propagation of Islam Religious stability Religious conflict4. Martial law in SA Effective governance Ineffective governance5. Chinese investment Improved infrastructure Weaker infrastructure6. Malawi Islamic State Religious freedom Islamic fanatism7. Larger gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ Civil conflict Civil stability8. Depletion of natural resources Resources depleted Resources sustained9. UN intervention Peace Conflict10. SADC countries unified as Azania Prosperity Poverty
  26. 26. Example Scenario Logics 2. Increasing gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ 2a. Civil conflict 2b. Civil stability 1a. A B 1. SADC Prosperity & Civil Prosperity Prosperity & Civil stabilitycountries conflictunified as Azania 1b. C D Poverty Poverty & Civil conflict Poverty & Civil stability

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A presentation about how future forecasting can help organizations increase their strategic abilities to deal with rapid and unexpected change.


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