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The Value of Strategic Foresight

THE VALUE OF STRATEGIC FORESIGHT IN A VUCA WORLD

In contrast to reacting to short-term developments in the business environment, strategic foresight is meant to help organizations anticipate long-term change for better decisions in the present day. But what is the value that strategic foresight can create for an organization? And what is the difference between an organization that uses foresight effectively and one that doesn’t?

To find out, the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions NIM and the Institute for the Future IFTF joined forces to conduct 400 personal telephone interviews with high-level executives from large Europe- and U.S.- based companies asking them about their current practices related to strategic foresight.

One of our key learnings is that the value of foresight is about being aware of the larger issues in the macro environment, those that go beyond the current short-term challenges, even if the impacts of those issues may be felt on a time horizon that is longer than the usual 2-3 year planning cycles. Segmenting companies by their foresight performance we clearly saw that decision-makers from top foresight performers are more aware of the impact of for example climate change or the rising social inequality on their markets. In addition, we found some evidence that foresight allows organizations to better deal with major system-level shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic.

What surprised us is how little helpful typical sources of future information like trend reports or technology roadmaps are in strategic decisions from a manager’s perspective. For example, only one third of the surveyed managers rated future scenario reports in their organization as helpful for their decisions.

Find the full report HERE and take the test to compare the value of foresight at your company with our sample. Method: In cooperation with the Institute for the Future (IFTF), 400 senior executives from large European and U.S. companies were interviewed by telephone about their current practices regarding strategic foresight.