Through a variety of methodologies, strategic foresight can assist organizations in understanding potential futures. Find out more about the importance of strategic foresight.
Strategic Foresight: What Is It?
Policymakers at political, social, and economic organizations use strategic foresight, also referred to as futures thinking or futures studies, to examine potential futures for their operating environments.
Futurists use a variety of methodologies to find potential futures, as do professionals who help these organizations understand alternate futures. Trend analysis and horizon scanning are examples of foresight activities that look at change-drivers like politics and technology to understand their potential impact on future scenarios. In order for organizations to make better decisions and achieve a desired future, futurists provide estimates of likely futures.
Strategic Foresight Results
Because it does not produce concrete information or future certainty, strategic foresight differs from related techniques like strategic forecasting and strategic planning. Instead, it presents conceivable scenarios that organizations can take into account when making decisions. Strategic foresight is a part of the planning process that provides planners with previously unrecognized information or identifies potential issues with existing strategies; it does not, however, result in a strategy or plan.
Importance of Strategic Foresight
Given the quick changes that organizations and governments have undergone over the past ten years, strategic foresight is important. The acronym "VUCA," which stands for "volatile," "uncertain," "complex," and "ambiguous," is used by futurists to describe the current state of the world as it is affected by global issues such as pandemics and conflicts.
Previous methods of scenario planning, which relied on a single entity conducting short-term horizon scanning (once or twice a year), could become ineffective in rapidly changing environments. In VUCA scenarios, strategic foresight becomes important to decision-makers because it provides consistent inputs on multiple future scenarios using a variety of methodologies.