Thinking [Better] About the Future
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Thinking [Better] About the Future

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A hands-on approach to applying foresight by Andy Hines, Principal at Hinesite and Lecturer/Executive-in-Residence in Futures Studies at University of Houston.

A hands-on approach to applying foresight by Andy Hines, Principal at Hinesite and Lecturer/Executive-in-Residence in Futures Studies at University of Houston.

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Thinking [Better] About the Future Thinking [Better] About the Future Presentation Transcript

  • Thinking [Better] About the Future:A Hands-on Approach to Applying Foresight Andy Hines IABC Houston May 12, 2011
  • Where I‟m Coming From
  • Why Foresight?• Uncover new opportunities• Detect threats• Craft strategy• Guide policy• Understand emerging customer needs• Explore new offering, markets, products, or services
  • Approach
  • Framing
  • Framing: What Are We Looking For? If you don’t know where you’re going, you may end up somewhere else – Yogi Berra 1.1 Know your audience 1.2 Map the innovation landscape 1.3 Set your time horizon 1.4 Polling: Degree of “stretch”
  • 1.1 Know Your Audience Fence-sitters Bridge Builders Pragmatist Don’t Get It Get It Ideologies Laggards True Believers
  • 1.2 Map the Landscape Work Spaces Work Workers Tools Knowledge Work Work Models
  • EXAMPLE: The Trend Universe is a tool intended to stimulate individual and team thinking about trends influencing growth or other aspects of the business http://growth.intranet.dow.com/TrendsSection/TrendsHomePg.htm the broad trends in the world at large that plant the seeds of longer-term business opportunities Contextual Trends Demographic Environmental House Food & Home Biotech MaterialsTechnological Chemical Transportation Political Energy Industry Infotech Health Leisure & Entertainment Market Trends Economic Social the trends that are manifested in markets that point to nearer-term business opportunities For more info on trends orhow to use them in ideation contact MORE TRENDS RESOURCES
  • 1.3 Set Your Time Horizon What is your product cycle , or the industries you work with?Computer Chips = 18 months Cars = 3-5 years Oil Platforms = 30+ years
  • Degree of Stretch A competitor announces a bold move into an innovative new area. How is your organization likely to respond? Select where your organization falls on this continuum of less to more sophisticated responses 1. SAFE 3. PROVOCATIVE Degree of “stretch”Smaller Payoff Bigger Payoff Less Risk Higher Risk 2. IN BETWEEN
  • In Sum….. Framing Scanning 1.1 Know your audience 2.1 Look for changes “outside” 1.2 Map the innovation landscape 2.2 Talk to people 1.3 Set your time horizon 2.3 Explore unfamiliar territory 1.4 Degree of “stretch?” 2.4 Capture the Insights 2.5 Create a trend inventory Forecasting 3.1 Cluster trends into drivers 3.2 Identify “insights” around which to build 3.3 Summarize the opportunity spaces
  • Scanning
  • 2. Scanning: Where Are “Interesting Things”Happening? Breadth Plus Depth = Foresight with Insight -- Andy Hines 2.1 Look for changes “outside” 2.2 Talk to people 2.3 Explore unfamiliar territory 2.4 Capture insights 2.5 Create a trend inventory The Kyoto: "These Zen-like slip-ons make me feel light on my feet andlighthearted. Great for peaceful walks to and from yoga sessions." Oprah
  • Issue Emergence: Find Opportunities Before“ They” Do Much Influence Litigated Little Effort Legislated Framed Event Emerging Little Influence Wildcard Much Effort
  • 2.1 Look for Changes “Outside” “Outside” EconomicTechnological Environmental Industry Organization Social Political
  • Example: Brands Capitalizing on External Changes Authenticity Sharing Co-Creation Spirituality Experiences Sustainability Self-Expression
  • Finding Scanning Hits on the Web • Search Engines, e.g. Google • Syndicated Content/Feeds, RSS, Feed Demon • Alerts, e.g., Google Alerts • Target specific sites, e.g., Population Reference Bureau • Bookmarking sites, e.g., Delicious, Magnolia • Specialized software/data mining, e.g., Porter’s Technology Opportunity Analysis • Databases, e.g., Lexis-Nexis • 3rd Party Services, e.g., Social Technologies
  • 2.2 Talk to People Good open-ended questions• If I could answer any question for you, what would it be?• If you looked back from 10 years hence, and told the triumph in the ____, what would it be?• If you looked back from 10 years hence, and told the failure in the ______ , what would it be?• What does the _______ need to forget?• What are one or two critical strategic decisions regarding the __________ on the horizon?• What are the top 2 or 3 trends driving the future of the ______?• What are the obstacles to progress in the ________?• What should I have asked that I didn’t? (at the end) Source: Global Business Network, Developing & Using Scenarios, www.gbn.com
  • 2.3 Explore Unfamiliar Territory
  • Discussion: Getting Ideas Where do you get your best ideas? Where do you typically come up with your most creative ideas….wherever that might be?
  • 2.4 Capture the Insights A complicated form for students…. …a simpler one for time-pressed organizationsCATEGORY INDICATORS BRIEF DESCRIPTIONTechnology Neuropharmaceuticals developing Understanding of brain/mind, and how to manipulate them, is growing.
  • 2.5 Create a Trend Inventory Virtual communities growing Co-working collectives “Hotelling” Work Gen Y wants to be in charge SpacesTelepresence rooms like “being there” Work Reverse brain drain Tools Knowledge Workers Work Cloud-based tools Free agent nation Work Transparency Models Core-contractor structure “Open innovation” Crowdsourcing
  • In Sum….. Scanning Framing 2.1 Look for changes “outside” 1.1 Know your audience 2.2 Talk to people1.2 Map the innovation landscape 1.3 Set your time horizon 2.3 Explore unfamiliar territory 1.4 Degree of “stretch?” 2.4 Capture the Insights 2.5 Create a trend inventory Forecasting 3.1 Cluster trends into drivers 3.2 Identify “insights” around which to build 3.3 Summarize the opportunity spaces
  • Forecasting
  • Forecasting: Where Are the AttractiveSpaces? The surprise-free future isn’t – Herman Kahn 3.1 Cluster trends into drivers 3.2 Identify “insights” around which to build opportunity spaces 3.2.1 Identify key uncertainties 3.2.2 Challenge assumptions 3.2.3 Look for potential discontinuities 3.2.4 Create scenarios 3.3 Summarize the opportunity spaces
  • The Cone of PlausibilityThe Future ismany, not one. Alternative Futures Preferred Implications Future Alternative Futures Present PastSource: Charles Taylor, Army War College
  • 3.1 Cluster Trends into Drivers
  • 3.2 Identify Key Uncertainties Future of Downtowns Hi Transit: Personal vs. Mass GranolaDonuts Snacking Bars Vehicles: Electric vs. Gas(Tasty) Importance (Healthy) Environmental: Lip Service vs. Deep GreenPersonal Settlement Patterns: Dense vs. Sprawl Urban Transit Mass Uncertainty Hi
  • 3.3 Challenge Assumptions Original Assumption: Alternative Assumption “This is the way the industry works.” “What if we…..” Libraries should be quiet What if we made libraries fun places where people eat, drink, and talk, as well as read and study?
  • 3.4 Look for Potential Discontinuities Dematerialization: From Pounds to Sense More and more of the value of products will come from the information content rather than the physical content. Selling by the pound makes less sense, if you can sell the sense! Interface Flooring Systems TREND IT1: More consumers and businesses are embracing e-commerce. TREND M1: Materials are becoming smarter. TREND EC12: Commoditization is happening faster and faster. TREND EC10: New economic measures will emerge to reflect socially desirable goals, such as environmental quality. TREND EC11: New models are emerging to explain the "new economy." TREND EN2: Products are being increasingly designed for re-use. TREND P5: "Global management" of global-scale issues is emerging. Hydrocarbon Trend to Value Added Cleaning Perchloroethylene Cleaning Services Solvents c. 1930’s c. 1950’s c. 2001 • nonflammable • Safetainer • flammable • recycle • good vapor properties • dangerous • provide expertise • neighborhood cleaners
  • Example: IBM Global Innovation OutlookInsights from academics, industry experts, and business leadersDefine and research key trends in innovation on a global scale.
  • 3.5 Create Scenarios• A scenario is a product that describes some possible future state and/or that tells the story about how such a state might come about. – The former are referred to as end state (or even day in the life scenarios); the latter are chain of events scenarios (or future histories).
  • 3.5 Create Scenarios The Long Boom The Soft Path In the Long Boom world… In the Soft Path world… •25 years of prosperity, freedom, and a better •Enoughness: consumers rethink consumption environment and their lives in general •Current recession just a speed bump •Recognition of limits •Driven by five great waves of technology: •Sustainability a fact of life •(1) PCs •Grassroots-driven change •(2) telecomm • (3) biotech • (4) nanotech •(5) alternative energySource: Hines; Innovaro (www.innovaro.com)
  • Sample Scenario: Communi-city http://vimeo.com/171 23084
  • In Sum… Framing Scanning 1.1 Know your audience 2.1 Look for changes “outside”1.2 Map the innovation landscape 2.2 Talk to people 1.3 Set your time horizon 2.3 Explore unfamiliar territory 1.4 Degree of “stretch?” 2.4 Capture the Insights 2.5 Create a trend inventory Forecasting 3.1 Cluster trends into drivers 3.2 Identify “insights” around which to build 3.3 Summarize the opportunity spaces
  • Visioning Planning Acting
  • 4. Visioning, Planning ,& Acting If you don’t know where you’re going, you may end up somewhere else – Yogi Berra 4.1 Implications via Futures Wheel 4.2 Actions via Start, Stop & Continue 4.3 Institutionalizing
  • 4.1Implications Recruiting for Built-in smart Plug & Play „Docking” Time-based int‟l experience infrastructure Infrastructurevia Success-base, Project-based Revisit % of profitsFutures traditional practices contracts Integrating New payWheel smartness practices? Annual contracts? Intelligence Rethink hiring Lands & firing Need a Where? policy Need for Transparency Augmented Customization Workers Inter- Explaining generation Fairness “special” conflict Future Impossible treatment of Work Going beyond paycheck What motivates Nearsourcing Training? workforce Strengthen Local ties What fits w/ cultures Negotiate w/ multiple jurisdictions
  • Alternative: Implications for DifferentStakeholders The Industry Your organization Biz Idea Biz Idea Implication Implication _______ _______ Challenge ___________ Implication Implication _______ _______Biz Idea Biz Idea
  • 4.2 Planning Exercise: Start, Stop & Continue Start Stop Continue
  • 4.3 Institutionalize: Push, Pull, Build• Push: Spread the word to new potential clients – Site Visits, Intranet sites, Business TV, Podcasts, Webcasts, Newsletters, Brown- Bag lunches, Futures Rooms , Sample Ideation Workshops• Pull: “Deliver the goods” and create positive “word-of-mouth” – Success breeds success – Craft a one-pager to concisely describe how you do it – Set up appointments with other functions in need of filling their innovation pipeline• Build: Grow your support network – Cultivate communities-of-practice – Developing your own training course
  • Benefits of ForesightActivity BenefitsFRAMING (22%) 1. Thinking more diverse open, balanced and non-biased (9%) 2. Focusing on the right questions and problems more clearly (7%) 3. Being aware of, and influencing, assumptions and mental models (6%)SCANNING (16%) 4. Understanding the context, in all its complexity, through establishing frameworks (5%) 5. Anticipating change and avoiding surprise (10%)FORECASTING 6. Producing more creative, broader, and deeper insights (16%)(22%) 7. Identifying a wider range of opportunities and options (5%)VISIONING (10%) 8. Prioritizing and making better and more robust decisions (10%)PLANNING (7%) 10. Constructing pathways from the present to the future that enable rehearsing for the future (7%)ACTING (23%) 10. Catalyzing action and change (7%) 11. Building alignment, commitment and confidence (14%) 12. Building a learning organization (2%)
  • Recommended Books• Hines, Bishop, Thinking About the Future• Peter Schwartz, Art of the Long View• Glenn, Jerome and Gordon, Ted, Futures Research Methodology, edited by Jerome Glenn. Millennium Project, February 2003. (CD-ROM)• Coates, Mahaffie & Hines, 2025• Wendel Bell, Foundations of FS (but only vol 1)• Ed Cornish, Futuring• Richard Slaughter, Knowledge Base of Futures Studies• Sohail Inayatullah, Questioning the Future• Alvin Toffler, Future Shock or The Third Wave• Harman, An Incomplete Guide to the Future or Global Mind Change• Bernard deJouvenel, Art of Conjecture• Petersen, John, Out of the Blue: Wild Cards and Other Big Future Surprises: How to Anticipate and Respond to Profound Change, The Arlington Institute,1997.• Kurzweil, Ray, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Viking 2005.• Meadows et al, Limits to Growth: The Thirty Year Update• William Gibson, Neuromancer, Bruce Sterling, Heavy Weather, Vernor Vinge, Across Real Time
  • Contact Info Andy Hines U of Houston Futures StudiesLecturer/Executive-in-Residenceahines@uh.edu832 367 5575www.andyhinesight.com