Category Methods

How to Work Up to Scenarios for Your Organization

Foresight professionals like ourselves typically work with clients on scenarios in a project-based sense, i.e. scenarios are the output of formal projects with lots of “data” and rigorous process.  While that is true, we do employ what we might call “scenario thinking” all the time and in more informal ways.  By scenario thinking I mean […]

Looking For Feedbacks with Killer Robots

Systems thinking is an important component of good futures thinking, at least as taught through the academic futures studies programs in the United States.  As anyway who has employed some form of systems thinking and mapping with organizations know, it generates a more complete picture of the landscape, creates a shared picture of the landscape, […]

No One Tool Does Everything, No Process is a Panacea

Everyone is familiar with the saying, “If all you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail.” This is no less true when it comes to management consulting, where consultants often specialize in a particular approach or may have a limited repertoire to offer.  You also see something of this each […]

Mapping Maritime Security with Multiple Horizons

Last night I had a great time introducing the @CIMSEC folks to one of the newer – and increasingly popular – frameworks used by foresight professionals to map the possible transitions from the way things are ordered today to some new “configuration” of the system.  The framework is known as three horizons (3H) and it […]

Daily Habits for Better Foresight

Once people find out what I do they are usually keen on learning how I do this “futurist thing.” Not counting the folks who are really hoping to learn how to make better probabilistic forecasts (see instead, Superforecasting), most are genuinely curious as to what an academically trained futurist does with his day. I touch […]

Forecasting by Analogy

I recently came across a piece by Bala Iyer on HBR.org titled, “To Predict the Trajectory of the Internet of Things, Look to the Software Industry,” and I wanted to call it out for readers as a good example of what we call “forecasting by analogy.” It is something most people do when thinking about […]

How Do You Handle an Uncertain Future (with limited resources)?

Amidst the current cacophony about the rise of robots and the future of labor there has emerged the notion of “hybrid” approaches for work that combine human and machine labor. We’re starting to see more and more articles referencing these hybrid approaches and suggesting that they are the future of work and labor. While each […]

Threat Assessments and Framing Emerging Issues

The US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, presented a statement on the US Intelligence Community’s worldwide threat assessment to the Senate two days ago, and the paper itself has been making the rounds on the Web.  In the statement the DNI references broad topical issues like the IoT and AI, as well as regional […]

A Spectrum of Scenario Use

This past week we were in the (unseasonably mild) United Kingdom working out of our Oxford office and attending a conference at the Warwick Business School on innovations in scenario use. Admittedly it was a fairly futures-geeky conference that was designed for an academic audience concerned with “scenario planning,” that particular approach to developing and […]

Theory-Driven Scenario Development

An updated version of an earlier post, Lum’s Formula for Futures, was just published in the Compass, the monthly publication of the Association of Professional Futurists, under the title, “Theory-driven scenario development.” Enjoy! Association for Professional Futurists