To navigate successfully into the future we need to think differently, because it is a place that none of us has been to. Each of us has a set of patterns in our head that helps us make sense of the world in which we live. These patterns are a combination of the things we have been taught, the experiences we have had and the values in which we believe. All of these make up what could be termed a mental model . The more successful we have been, the stronger is our current mental model.
If the rules for success are truly changing, then what we need to do is to
Every foresight exercise needs to start with some kind of focusing question, such as the future of food or the future of health (or should it be ˜
If I was living in 2015, what would the world look like?
How might people be living?
What would customers want?
What key trends will have developed and what things will have been discontinued?
Scenarios can be a useful device for painting a picture of this foresightful position.
The technique of foresight has a number of immediate benefits.
It allows us to see more easily the weak signs of the future that are already present.
It enables us to engage in conversations different to those we would have simply through forecasting.
It allows us to gain quite exciting perspectives on today s realities.
By asking ˜what if? questions that project us into the future space, foresight allows us to see more clearly those things about which we need to think differently.
One of the most interesting
As we rewire our thinking we start to see change everywhere. Often it will be in the small things that the most surprising changes are made.
As part of the process of rewiring, we need to think differently about many of the building blocks of our current society. Many everyday terms, such as transport, health, education and government, carry with them hidden but strongly coded messages of yesterday s success. Using foresight we can see new possibilities by changing the conversation. For example:
The future of transport might become the future of mobility and logistics.
The future of health might be the future of wellness.
The future of education might be the future of learning.
The future of government might be the future of collective social action.
Baby Boomers have a set of hard-wired assumptions about most things, including romance. But when it comes to the first step of romance, the
New York Times
When and how we might search for a mate has changed. When you think about it, this shift is obvious. Gen X are
The logic and consequences of living-systems thinking and its meaning for organisations is eloquently explained in M Wheatley,
Leadership and the New Science: Discovering order in a