DSMT - Thinking about the future

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  • 1. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 2. Digital Strategist’s Mental Toolkit: Thinking about the future_ Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 3. Key points_ What this section will cover: • Strategist as futurist • Methods – Scenario planning – Big trends Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 4. Futurism_ Educating yourself now, in order to make the proper decision in the future. “The future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed.” William Gibson Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 5. Scenario planning_ An exercise to determine possible outcomes for decision support 1. Identify focal issue 2. Local forces 3. Macro forces 4. Rank and identify key forces 5. Set logics 6. Flesh out the scenarios Source: The Art of the Long View; Peter Schwartz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 6. Scenario planning_ 1. Identify focal issue: – Start with an ‘inside-out’ focus – Begin with a specific decision or issue e.g. Should we invest in social media platform X Source: The Art of the Long View; Peter Schwartz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 7. Scenario planning_ 2. Determine local factors – Key factors influencing the success or failure of the decision – What will key decision makers want to know when making choices? e.g. What internal content resources will be available? Source: The Art of the Long View; Peter Schwartz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 8. Scenario planning_ 3. Identify macro forces – Social, economical, political, environmental, and technological forces – What are the macro forces behind the local forces identified e.g. Consumer loyalty to a social platform Source: The Art of the Long View; Peter Schwartz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 9. Scenario planning_ 4. Rank key factors and forces – Degree of importance for the success of the focal issue – Degree of uncertainty surrounding the forces – Identify the two or three that are the most important and the most uncertain e.g. The popularity of social platform X is highly uncertain given historical precedent Source: The Art of the Long View; Peter Schwartz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 10. Scenario planning_ 5. Set logics – combos of forces – The results are the axes for each possible written scenario – Scenario drivers need to be limited in number or else you have an explosion of possible combinations e.g. low loyalty, low content availability – where defection happens to competitive platform where competitive brands have better content; high loyalty, low content availability – where consumers stay on the platform but disengage from the brand; etc Source: The Art of the Long View; Peter Schwartz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 11. Scenario planning_ 6. Flesh out the scenarios – Develop them along the priority axes but also include other key factors and forces as required to create depth. Align them with one axis. – Weave them into a narrative • How would things get from here to there • What events make the endpoint plausible? – Return to the focal issue and look at the implications • How does the decision look in each scenario? Source: The Art of the Long View; Peter Schwartz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 12. Tracking big trends_ Seeking the big themes that may have an impact down the road: • Look for cross pollinators • Find the exponentials • Look for liberators • Time wasters • Deep design Source: WIRED Magazine; Thomas Goetz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 13. Tracking big trends_ 1. Look for cross pollinators – Look for interdisciplinary pioneers – People good at reframing the problem with insights from another domain e.g. Stewart Brand: How Buildings Learn was a fusion of evolution and architecture Source: WIRED Magazine; Thomas Goetz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 14. Tracking big trends_ 2. Find the exponentials – Cyclical, rapidly improving technologies – Innovators can follow on with cheaper, faster, better e.g. Cost of broadband and the development of YouTube Source: WIRED Magazine; Thomas Goetz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 15. Tracking big trends_ 3. Look for liberators – Those who recognize scarcity and move to eliminate it – Those who see assets that are locked up and they free them e.g. Napster; AirBnB Source: WIRED Magazine; Thomas Goetz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 16. Tracking big trends_ 4. Engage with time wasters – Where are people being consciously inefficient? – Look for people playing, exploring e.g. Homebrew Computer Club – lead to the birth of Apple Source: WIRED Magazine; Thomas Goetz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 17. Tracking big trends_ 5. Read – Explore tangents – Step outside your comfort zone e.g. Arts and Letters daily, Longreads Source: WIRED Magazine; Thomas Goetz Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663
  • 18. Recommended reading_ Sources of Power; Gary Klein How Buildings Learn; Stewart Brand The Mind’s I; Douglas Hofstadter The Art of the Long View; Peter Schwartz What Technology Wants; Kevin Kelly The Creative Priority; Jerry Hirshberg The Seven Strategies of Master Presenters; Dr Brad McRae You Are Not a Gadget; Jaron Lanier Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_____graeme/6772936663