Dear TFS: Feeling Overwhelmed

TFS: How do you establish a regular scanning practice? There’s so much information out there, and only so many hours in the day. I want to be efficient, but I also want to make sure that I’m not missing anything when I look for trends and emerging issues. Can you give me some suggestions? – Sincerely, Feeling Overwhelmed!

Strategic Foresight in Government

We often joke that since the pandemic we have not had to advocate for futures thinking to skeptics nearly as strongly as we used to. The disruption proved to be a meaningful shockwave across all disciplines, forcing us all to seriously reevaluate priorities and the antiquated systems that keep us from reaching our higher order potential. Reactionary, short-term, quantitative, and mechanical approaches are ill-equipped to carry humanity into the future, or “what got us here, won’t get us there”. Luckily,…

Not Just Competitive Intelligence, but Futures Intelligence

VUCA—volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous—is an acronym coined by the U.S. military to describe the geo-political environment after the Cold War. Today, business leaders have adopted the term to describe their Monday mornings.

Follow Your Futures Compass: How to Identify and Frame Focal Issues

If you’ve just learned about Strategic Foresight you may be wondering, “Where do I begin? Do I need to create scenarios? Should I develop trend cards?” Focal issues help us to answer these questions, making them a critical starting point in your futures initiatives.

Kill the Five-year Plan

The Current State: Good Intentions, Poor Results Having spent the majority of my career as a finance professional for large, multi-national firms, I know intimately the herculean (and often fruitless) task of strategic and financial planning.

Why Freedom Depends on Foresight

This article was originally posted on Medium February 25, 2022 At this moment in history — especially with a constant awareness of every news story or personal opinion from every corner of our world due to the “always on” nature of social media — we are painfully aware that, for many, freedom is fleeting, fading and under attack. Countries that are struggling to promote freedom are being invaded by autocracies seeking to reclaim an antiquated past. Radicalized voices are sowing…

How Long Does the Future Last? The Lifecycle of Futures Intelligence

Environmental scanning is the lifeblood of Strategic Foresight. You can be a futurist and never make a single scenario, but you can’t be a futurist if you never scan. Scanning helps us to rewire our brains and supports our pattern and sensemaking skills. After weeks of scanning, it’s time to merge research into something tangible. A collection of scan hits and occurrences unveils that something larger is emerging– a trend! Trends deserve names and solid descriptions that include several examples…

We don’t talk about futures…no, no, no

Foresight Lessons from Disney’s Encanto Surely by now you’ve watched or at least heard of the new Disney animated film, “Encanto.” Having been quarantined over Christmas with my 14-year old, I had the pleasure of experiencing the tale of the Madrigals, an enchanted family from Colombia, more times than I care to admit. Due to my repeated viewings as I sheltered in-place on the precipice of COVID’s two-year anniversary, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between one of the movie’s…