Do You Know What’s Next? It’s Time to Expand Your Horizons.
Updated 08 May, 2022 12:36pm AEST
Have you ever played tennis? Or cricket? Softball or baseball? In fact, any sport where the ball is coming at you, and you must strike it?
Think about the process of hitting the ball. Do you start moving when the ball reaches you? Or before?
The answer is that you always start to move before the ball arrives. Leave it too late and the ball flies right past you.
The same is true in business. React too late and you’ve missed the opportunity. Or worse, the threat. Instead, you must anticipate what’s coming. Foresee it.
Futurism is the skill set to help you to do this. Structured ways to think about the future, to help you see what’s coming and prepare. Today it is a more important skill set than ever.
To join the first cohort for my new course and learn to think like a futurist, register your interest here.
Low friction business, high frequency change
Technology has stripped the friction from innovation and communication. So, while some things stay the same, new ideas, products and services are coming to market all the time. Some of them will change your business. Some will compete with it. Some might boost it. But if you don’t see them coming, you won’t be able to take advantage.
There is no crystal ball. No arrangement of tea leaves is going to tell you the future. Foresight is achieved through a set of processes for structured thinking. Ways of exploring possibilities.
Different processes help you to address different questions. “What should we do next?” requires a different approach to “Where should we be heading?”
Near and far
Looking to the near future requires a true understanding the context of the current day. What will carry forward, and what must be discarded? Then it requires looking at the trends: what are the drivers of change that will affect your corner of the world or the market? You must understand how context and trends intersect, and most importantly, work back from there to understand how you must act.
Going beyond the near term requires you to truly think differently. To use stories to imagine yourself – and your colleagues – into worlds where much has changed. But even here we can go beyond imagination. There are tools to help you to structure stories and extract value from their telling and understanding.
Futurism in business is not an end in itself. Enjoyable as the processes might be, in business we turn to the tools of futurism for good reasons: driving strategy, creating competitive advantage, and minimising risk. But most of all, to ensure sustainable success. Success that endures because it recognises all the factors that might affect our organisations, our supply chains, and our customers over the long term.
Once you’ve seen the ball coming, it’s time to move.
Take the Course
Tom is leading an outstanding 6-week online cohort-based course on ‘How To Think Like A Futurist‘ commencing in late June.
Register to participate, you will;
- Understand high-frequency change and what this means for business.
- Discover tools and techniques for developing alternative futures.
- Explore the pressures and trends that are reshaping your organisation.
- Develop a ‘sixth sense’ for identifying opportunities and threats.
- Learn how to persuasively communicate the future to build support for change.
About the Author
Tom Cheesewright is an Applied Futurist, who helps global brands and industries to see what’s next. Tom is frequently featured in the media, with weekly appearances on TV and radio including BBC Breakfast, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, 5live, Radio 4, and TalkRadio. He is also the author ‘Future-Proof Your Business’ (Penguin), and ‘High Frequency Change’ (LID Publishing).