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Strategic Foresight: How to build a superior position in markets of tomorrow

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Firms use strategic foresight practices to identify change drivers, discover opportunities and threats, engage in scenario-based strategising and identify superior courses of action.
The slides are from the inaugural lecture of Professor René Rohrbeck. They provide an introduction to strategic foresight for managers and an overview of the research program of the Strategic Foresight Research Network at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Strategic Foresight: How to build a superior position in markets of tomorrow

  1. 1. FEBRUARY 2017RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR, DR. RER. OEC. STRATEGIC FORESIGHT: How to build a superior position in markets of tomorrow? René Rohrbeck, Professor of Strategy
  2. 2. RENÈ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY 30 MARCH 2017 WHY STRATEGIC FORESIGHT GROWS IN RELEVANCE
  3. 3. 30 MARCH 2017 3 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY Mobile Internet Computing Internet of Everything Mainframe Computing Personal & Desktop Computing Internet & Wireless 1 Million connected devices 20202010 20301960 20001980 19901970 500 Million connected devices 1 Trillion connected devices WE ARE LIVING IN TIMES OF EXPONENTIAL GROWTH IN COMPLEXITY. COMPLEXITY Age of Manufacturing
  4. 4. 30 MARCH 2017 4 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY GLOBAL CONNECTEDNESS PROVIDES A PLATFORM FOR BREATHTAKING SPEED OF GROWTH FOR NEW COMPANIES YEARS to reach UNICORN status ($1B valuation) 7,5 2,5 20202010 20301960 20001980 19901970 86YRS 2YRS 7YRS
  5. 5. 30 MARCH 2017 5 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY LIFE EXPECTANCY OF ESTABLISHED FIRMS IS DECREASING DRAMATICALLY. 20202010 20301960 20001980 19901970 Average LIFE EXPECTANCY of S&P 500 companies 20 60 40 Projections based on current data
  6. 6. 30 MARCH 2017 6 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY Are you surprised about the threats of… COMPLEXITY VOLATILITY INCUMBENT MORTALITY ? Have we adapted our management practices?
  7. 7. RENÈ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY 30 MARCH 2017 PERSONAL MOTIVATION
  8. 8. 30 MARCH 2017 8 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY
  9. 9. 30 MARCH 2017 9 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY We often expect that: Running a successful business is about outcompeting our known rivals.
  10. 10. 30 MARCH 2017 10 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY It is not good enough to compete against the rivals you know. We need to… …systematically create superior positions in attractive markets of the future! For that we need novel MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
  11. 11. RENÈ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY 30 MARCH 2017 OUR RESEARCH
  12. 12. 30 MARCH 2017 12 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY STATE-OF-THE-ART 2010 CASE STUDIES 2006-2009 • Practices are patchy • None of the firms have managed to create a constant stream of successful business renewal actions 1 2
  13. 13. 30 MARCH 2017 13 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY MATURITY MODEL OF CORPORATE FORESIGHT Key Practices CASE STUDIES 2006-2009 PRACTICES Information Methods People Networks Organization Culture PROCESSES i Dedicated sensors to monitor driving factors Analyzing broad and deep Systematically challenging dominant beliefs and mental models Collaborative interpretation using systems-thinking methods Continuous trial-and-error learning Appetite for uncertainty
  14. 14. 30 MARCH 2017 14 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY APPLYING CORPORATE FORESIGHT PRACTICES GE CREATED ITS MOST PROFITABLE BUSINESS UNIT. Corporate Foresight Practices Corporate AccelerationPerceiving Prospecting 2004 Water scarcity as Mega Trend 2004 “Water business synergetic with existing energy business” 2005 Acquisition Ionics (water treatment industry) 2006 Acquisition Zenon to secure technology leadership 2013 Energy & Water 31% of GE’s EBITA 2005 Pilot plant in strategic R&D Center Source: Dr. René Rohrbeck, Corporate Foresight Benchmarking Study 2010 Probing
  15. 15. 30 MARCH 2017 15 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY WITH FORESIGHT AND THE PERSISTENCE TO PLAY FOR THE MID-TERM SUCCESS, SAMSUNG HAS CONQUERED ONE BUSINESS AFTER ANOTHER. 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Samsung mostly a white-label manufacturer Systematic identification of key capabilities needed to become a world leading company Leader in global TV market Samsung beats Apple on Innovation by introducing the Phablet category Samsung Stock Price Samsung among top two in the mobile telephony market
  16. 16. RENÈ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY 30 MARCH 2017 HOW TO CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY?
  17. 17. 30 MARCH 2017 17 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY OUR MODEL FOR FUTURE PREPAREDNESS Comparing Corporate Foresight Need and Maturity MATURITY of Corporate Foresight practices NEED ForCorporateForesight THE BIG IDEA TRANSPARENT INDICATOR Comparable across industries and firm sizes
  18. 18. 30 MARCH 2017 18 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY MEASURING FUTURE PREPAREDNESS COMPARING THE NEED FOR AND THE MATURITY OF CORPORATE FORESIGHT PRACTICES Perceiving Prospecting Probing Environmental Dynamism Environmental Complexity Environmental Hostility Strategic Orientation PREPAREDNESS Level NEED for Corporate Foresight MATURITY of Corporate Foresight Need level Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Level 4 Maturity level Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 GREEN Vigilant ORANGE Neurotic RED Danger When Need Level = Maturity Level ORANGE Vulnerable When Need Level < Maturity Level When Need Level, 1 Level > Maturity Level When Need Level, 2/3 Level > Maturity Level Maturity areas
  19. 19. 30 MARCH 2017 19 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY WE HAVE BENCHMARKED MORE THAN 450 FIRMS AND CONFRONTED MORE THAN 50 TOP MANAGEMENT TEAMS WITH THE RESULTS 40+ IN-DEPTH CASE STUDIES of large multinational organizations 450+ SURVEYED FIRMS all large multinational organizations with a track record of utilizing corporate foresight. Focused on measuring the impact of corporate foresight on innovation and firm performance EMPIRICAL RESEARCH 2006 to present RELEVANCE 2006 to present 50+ TOP MANAGEMENT TEAM WORKSHOPS To validate the results, compare results with benchmark and provide recommendations
  20. 20. 30 MARCH 2017 20 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY Going forward… …future preparedness could serve as a powerful indicator to judge the capacity of a firm to create superior positions in attractive markets of the future!
  21. 21. RENÈ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY 30 MARCH 2017 SELECTED EMPIRICAL RESULTS
  22. 22. 30 MARCH 2017 22 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY THAT FIRMS AIM TO WIN THROUGH CORPORATE FORESIGHT IS RARE. Firms invest in Corporate Foresight only if they are in a technological turbulent environment AND have free cash-flow Tymen Jissink PhD fellow, AU
  23. 23. 30 MARCH 2017 23 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY Hence… …it is vital to be able to identify vulnerable firms before it is too late.
  24. 24. 30 MARCH 2017 24 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY IS THE LEVEL OF FUTURE PREPAREDNESS A GOOD PREDICTOR FOR MID-TERM SUCCESS? Menes Kum PhD fellow / Deloitte Corporate Foresight Need Corporate Foresight Maturity Schumpeterian rents generate higher market valuation growth and superior profitability, when compared with industry peers. Future preparedness The ability to systematically and ahead of competition • spot trends • understand and use systemic change effects • probe into new markets By acting ahead of competition, firms attain superior positions in future markets
  25. 25. 30 MARCH 2017 25 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY FUTURE PREPAREDNESS AND ITS EFFECT ON… PROFITABILITY* MARKET CAPITALIZATION* ALL FIRMS VIGILANT VULNERABLE IN DANGERNEUROTIC +33% 16% 10% 9% 12% 10% -37% -37% -44% ALL FIRMS VIGILANT VULNERABLE IN DANGER NEUROTIC 75% 38% 9% 25% 10% -49% -101% -108%+200% -1% -6% * Data: Future preparedness data from 2008 Profitability and Market Capitalization data from 2015 Menes Kum PhD fellow / Deloitte
  26. 26. 30 MARCH 2017 26 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY In consequence… …we can expect that investing in enhancing future preparedness pays off (in the mid term).
  27. 27. RENÈ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY 30 MARCH 2017 FUTURE RESEARCH
  28. 28. 30 MARCH 2017 28 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY WE WILL FOCUS ON LONGITUDINAL RESEARCH ON THE CORPORATE, BUSINESS, PROCESS AND INDIVIDUAL LEVEL. Level of the individualCorporate level Business level Process level Sebastian Knab University of Hamburg Siri Bøe-Lillegraven Aarhus University Kent Thorén & Matti Kaulio KTH Stockholm Christina Bidmon Aarhus University Does business model innovation enable established firms to survive transitions? Did double ambidexterity enable an incumbent telco to survive 3 major disruptions? How do cognition and action interact in the dynamic process of Business Model Innovation? How does Corporate Foresight influence information processing?
  29. 29. 30 MARCH 2017 29 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY WE FOLLOW IN THE TRADITION OF “LA PROSPECTIVE” WHICH AIMED TO ENABLE MANKIND TO DRIVE ITS OWN DESTINY. Gaston Berger French Philosopher 1896 - 1960 “We need more powerful practices to collaboratively define the desired ends” STRATEGIC FORESIGHT
  30. 30. 30 MARCH 2017 30 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY DRIVING STRATEGIC FORESIGHT FOR BETTER FUTURES • 40+ adoption of our practices by MNOs • Shown the impact through research • Maturity model • Creation of an indicator • Regular benchmarks CONTRIBUTIONS
  31. 31. 30 MARCH 2017 31 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY DRIVING RESEARCH AND PRACTICE OF STRATEGIC FORESIGHT FOR BETTER FUTURES. THANK YOU! The privilege of working with • 9 Doctoral/PhD students • 32 MSc-thesis students • 14 Co-Autors
  32. 32. 30 MARCH 2017 32 RENÉ ROHRBECK PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY Rene Rohrbeck Professor of Strategy, Dr. rer. oec. Aarhus University BLOG: http://futureorientation.net THANK YOU! RESEARCH: http://mgmt.au.dk/strategicforesight

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