Picking the Right Futurist for Your Strategic Insights
Friday 12 September 2014
When I look at my overall client types, it seems to me that I have two main types of client. The first is a client that has a good business and is generally successful and wants a futurist to help keep them ahead of emerging issues and opportunities. The second main client type is one that feels their organisation has or is hitting a brick wall, that has experienced a lack of success through past approaches to developing insights and strategy and that the 'something's gotta change' mantra has emerged inside the executive team. Which is why the brief becomes important
The brief to your futurist is aimed at ensuring you know why you want a futurist to help you. If you are not clear on what a futurist can (and cannot) do, it is likely you'll spend company resources seeking answers to a question that won't help. Simply put, your expectations will not be met.
In the client types above, typically the client that is happy with how things are going wants to a) ensure they aren't going to be surprised by an unexpected downturn, and b) seek even more opportunities to develop their business further. That framework sets to approach a furturist ought to take.
The client that has a realisation that what they've been trying hasn't been working requires a VERY different approach. It is likely that the need for more immediate impact, less theory and more pragmatic decision frameworks will be needed. For some clients what they want a futurist to do cannot be done - the n eed for a turn-around specialist aiming at saving a business is NOT a core capability of a Futurist. It is something I've been asked to do from time to time. I have instead referred the business on to someone else.
Which comes down to the idea of how you Brief your Futurist. Following this model, any futurist worth their salt will be able to tell you whether what you want is realistic in the time frame and aligned to high quality futurist thinking. They should also be able to advise you AGAINST using their skills if your needs are different to what can be provided. Given the organisational time, people and financial resources you could invest, both you and your futurist ought to be clear before you begin and agree on an assignment
And of course if you have any questions, by all means contact me
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Monday 27 February 2017
It's been a significantly busy couple of months looking at how Industries and Government Agencies are preparing for change. The Companies versus Climate Change conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November/December, and a meeting with the Political Science Department at the University of Hawaii (Manoa) in January show that positive action is happening, despite some of the headlines
Saturday 31 December 2016
Many of you know that each year I make an observation about what I think the year will bring. The track record suggests I'm usually a couple of years ahead of the curve. With that said I'm calling 2017
Monday 12 December 2016
In Ft. Lauderdale USA I recently attending a delightful provocatively named 'Companies Versus Climate Change' conference. And the message is clear - companies, BIG well known companies are tackling the issues of climate change, sustainability and their carbon footprints and both making and saving VAST sums of dollars. The simple take away message from the presentations over the three days could not have been more explicit - tackling climate change pays off big time!