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Hurricanes, Strategic Shifts, and the Hard Work of Foresight

Hurricane Ian has our country once again confronting widespread disruptions and the human costs that come with that. This is an unfortunate opportunity to reflect on the reality that how well we prevent or mitigate disruptions to our communities and businesses is sometimes a genuine failure of foresight. More often, however, it is a failure of our organizations and of ourselves as decision makers to take actions in the present that better position us for future disruptions.

Most people probably assume that the difficult part of foresight work is developing the forecasts and analyses that clients use to inform their deliberations. While this can certainly be challenging, it’s not the truly difficult part. The thing that makes a career in foresight tough, that can make the work we do seem like a Sisyphean existence, has to do with changing minds. Persuading others that the future can be meaningfully different from the present, that they should start to take action today that address future possibilities, is consistently the most challenging aspect of futures work.

The last several years have confronted us with an array of genuine disruptions. All signs point to more disruptions on the horizon, not less. Today, spend a few moments reflecting on this. How well does your team do exploring the logical and divergent possibilities in your industry? How serious do they take those potential disruptions? How well do you?

If you haven’t already, then please reach out to us to discuss how we can help your team explore and plan for the changes in your emerging landscape.

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