A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings in Asia

Writing about strategic foresight in plain language was certainly more difficult than I expected. However, I finally feel like I can write my foresight book. I have a topic, and at least five of the chapters will be based in large part on these articles–without all the disaster preparedness stuff of course. However, that book is also in the works. Also, keep an eye out for the last article about scenarios.

Here’s the intro:

In the first article, I introduced strategic foresight as a tool for optimizing your disaster preparedness. In the second article, I introduced horizon scanning as the most basic method of gathering information for strategic foresight. And in the third article, I explained the reason why it is important to consider everything as possible, and to challenge your assumptions. In this article, I discuss the concept of the world as a complex system, touching on the fields of Systems and Chaos Theory.

Finish reading: http://www.preparewithforesight.com/butterfly-effect/

Advertisements

Black Swans and Other Cliches

My articles for Prepare with Foresight have been focused on communicating strategic foresight in very everyday language. I’m not always convinced I’ve stripped my writing of academic or professional jargon without patronizing my audience. However, strategic foresight is not enough of a household concept yet to be able to communicate it without a little jargon.

Here’s the intro:

Not everyone remembers where they were when the stock market crashed or when Trump was elected the US President. However, many people around the world remember where they were and how they felt when the attacks happened on September 11, 2001. My two previous posts have introduced strategic foresight and how some of its tools and methods can help you better prepare for the unexpected. Now, let’s dig a little deeper and look at different types of scenarios such as Black Swans.

Finish reading: http://www.preparewithforesight.com/scenario-awareness-black-swans/

Learn more from your future than you do from your past

Verne Wheelwright is a pioneer in using foresight for personal development. The same methods that corporations and governments have used for the past decade are just as relevant for personal use as they are for shaping macro futures.

Many self help authors want readers to connect to their future selves, but none of them offer any practical tools for doing so. Such authors look too narrowly at the future to guide readers into visualizing multiple, plausible futures, and readers often give up or lose faith when their actual future turns out differently than they expected.

Wheelwright takes a different, less mystical approach with his award winning self-help book, It’s Your Future…Make it a Good One. He also offers some free downloads on his website which I strongly recommend, but the book provides readers with the perspective necessary to understand what these free resources are all about.

Most people view the future as either a hazy, cryptic event or a technological utopia. Neither of these views are true much less practical. The future is unpredictable, especially at a personal level. But the future can be forecasted into multiple scenarios to help organizations and (now thanks to Wheelwright) individuals steer their personal lives in a direction to achieve their goals no matter how the future plays out.

If you run your own business, no mater what size, this is the most important book you could read for your business success. As a business owner, your personal life is the rudder that steers your business, and to achieve success you need to align your personal future with the future of your company. Wheelwright even has a book coming out soon about applying these techniques to small and medium sized businesses.

Methods for learning about the future have been in use by businesses for decades, but the process was simply too complex for most individuals. The Personal Futures Network introduces some new, easily understood approaches that will help you to think and plan like a futurist. You will be able learn about and plan for your personal futures.

Think like a futurist? What does that really mean, think like a futurist? Well, each futurist may have some different thoughts, but generally futurists think about longer term futures, usually 10 or more years ahead. Futurists believe that the future is not predetermined, but that several futures are possible. If several futures are possible, then one of those futures may be better than the others, or a “preferred” future. Very important; futurists believe that individuals or groups can take actions in the present that will help determine the future.

That brief paragraph helps explain why most futurists don’t make predictions about the future, but rather suggest multiple possible futures, often in the form of “scenarios” or stories about the future.

The above quote was taken from Wheelwright’s homepage. The whole website is dedicated to helping readers understand how to look at the future in an effective and practical way. Read the book and begin learning more from your future than from you do from your past.