IFTF Foresight Talk with Dr. René Rohrbeck of EDHEC Business School

okay so let’s get started so thank you all for joining us this morning or this evening wherever you are I’m really excited we’re going to have a conversation through neighbor Beck and I’ve been looking forward to this for a really long time Renee does some interesting and most thought-provoking work that I’ve come across that really tries to measure in a longitudinal and really really well-thought-out manner what is the value and what is the impact of foresight which I think is a question that is incredibly important and it also incredibly challenging to model out in a thoughtful way so I think we’re going to learn a lot there will be time for questions and conversation at the end so as you’re listening if something comes to mind please feel free to you know jot it down though a chat window I’ll show you how to do that so yeah this will be a fun interactive conversation as I said we joined early my name is Brad crate I’m a research director with Institute for the future before we start I just want to say a little bit about what this webinar is and how this fits into some of the resources we provide to our community who are interested in about foresight so we host these I have to have foresight talks and they’re really aimed at bringing together foresight practitioners from all over the world even as foresight has grown it remains I think a field where many of us are either working on our own or working in very small teams and so this kind of a conversation is aimed at just helping us come together learn from each other share tips share best practices share knowledge so that we can all sort of collectively improve how we do foresight if you’re wondering or curious we do offer foresight trainings and in formal methods and teaching futures thinking currently we have States scheduled in May and June as well as April in Palo Alto for design futures training of course you know that those those may be may have to move due to circumstances I think we’re all grappling with but at least as of now those are all scheduled to move forward I also want to draw your attention to our foresight our feature singing course on Coursera we’ve been really sort of improving one of our colleagues and meghana was spent a lot of time developing as far as we know the world’s first online massively open course and futures thinking so this is a really great resource particularly if you’re kind of looking to learn or looking to improve your own thinking so please check that out if you’re interested so sorry about that and one other things so we do these we do these webinars we also do something called to ask a future with futurist webinars that are more kind of content oriented more sort of how do you think about a particular issue we run meetups for those who have already gone through our trainings and we have a four site essentials newsletter so please feel free to subscribe to all of that so those are just some resources to draw your attention to if you’re kind of unaware of them but what I want to transition us into now is really the meat of the conversation for today but before I do that one kind of key logistical thing so you all are on mute that’s by intent I think we’ve all sort of you know experienced webinars where somebody sort of accidentally leaves their their phone on or what have you and I get a lot of background noise so we want everyone on mute but if you we do want you to ask questions so there’s a chat window if you you know feel free to use that there’s a Q&A button so if you want to ask a question particular for Renee if you have a question about his research if you have a follow-up to something he said put it in the Q&A we’ll be actively monitoring that QA and curating a set of questions probably about 20 probably 30 or 35 minutes into the conversation so there will definitely be time for Q&A so please please do ask questions if you have them so now um that’s kind of the logistics I really want to transition on us to this conversation from aerobic and sort of just yeah good really sort of dig in so maybe and I’m gonna stop stop SlideShare in here and just ask Renee maybe if you could just sort of start and sort of tell us a little bit about yourself tell us about the work you do and how you got both of it so I’m thanks for the invit so my name is Vinay Babak I’m a professor of strategy but some time now I’m also an industry practitioner from the automobile and telecommunication industry and I got interested in corporate foresight some 15 years ago so ever since I’ve been I’ve working with it as many of guess the audience is is working with projects in terms of processes but also in terms of building routines for organizations and also as a

research I’m trying to work out what is then the techniques the practices which met and most for value added for an organization and more recently been then also publishing some some promising numbers on how foresight impacts performance okay and can you say a little bit I be cursed how did you get interested in in particular in measuring the role of foresight in firm success and can you just tell us a little bit about that that particular strand of your work sure so this is some 15 years ago I guess when I was working in a large multinational company running what we were calling a technology radar so we were monitoring with the network of Scouts global emerging technologies and basically assessing at which time would they be available for us and so remember that one day my boss comes into my office and says Renee and we worked out that the world will not only change based on technology market trends to follow and we want you to start thinking about how can we anticipate industry change there was no telecommunication industry which got increasingly liberalized new technology coming in but also fundamental changes in behavior how we work with communication so a young guy of Ford yeah sounds sounds like a good thing to do and then after my boss left some five minutes later I realized this is actually pretty big task so I better not do that alone so I started to go around to cope with strategy people – mergers and acquisition people to our until on time R&D people and always saying what my boss just told me and so who has worked with the future of our industry anticipating what we will be selling in five and ten years etc and so to my big surprise at that time I looked in big eyes but not in powerpoints which will be shared with me easily so I I did realize that these rather complex question of how with our industry change how would we need to revolutionize our business model what will we be selling in five years time is questions which large corporates don’t ask regularly and that sort of got me interested also will be despaired at this at the start as you can imagine okay well I agreed to this task what do I do now and I also started to reach out and to other big corporates because one could have forward also well I’m here with a big telecommunication company which used to be a state on monopoly we might not be the fastest moving or the brightest ones around so let’s let’s talk to other great companies and it was then a recurring pattern to realize that well most corporate functions which are tasked to look at the mid and long term they’ve been quite responsive when there is something which to see always wondering about but they were not very proactive and really figuring out what is then that the new playing field which will will be ours in five years time or ten years time so I realized I’m I’m sort of onto something big here because obviously I’m and everyone who’s on the call yeah I don’t need to explain this obviously a lot of value can be can be destroyed if you’re not prepared for what’s coming your way yeah and I’m curious you know you just published this this piece on some of your colleagues come mapping out the trajectory of the futures field within organizations and how that’s evolved and so I’m wondering if both both you could you describe that trajectory a little bit and kind of how you’ve seen it both in your own research in you and experience about in the last 10 to 15 years sure I mean there’s there’s two papers out there basically one recent one which we might have seen as been written primarily for the 50 years anniversary of one of the leading journals of the technological forecasting social change Journal we looked in particular what was going on in that journal then generally speaking I’m seeing four phases for which foresight and in firms has been developed the first phase is after the Second World War we pretty much in on the corporate level in in a market situation where most markets have more demand than supply so much of the full side work is about forecasting future demand and then planning factory capacity etc etc so a lot of mathematical modeling is going on there’s of course also on the full side word more for policymaking in the US

with the rent organization in Europe there’s a very interesting activity developing in France where the LA prospective school is working with with big corporates and working with participatory and strategy work in order to figure out how do we shape basically our industry and our markets from this first phase we were basically coming to the phase where markets get more saturated where we have then also the oil crisis where we have first major disruptions and we’re waking up to the world of scenarios with early success stories shell and others more and more corporates are starting to invest into own scenario planning teams and using this on I’d say a project-based ad hoc basis I’m saying this also to contrast it to something which we see more today where you use scenarios on a daily decision-making basis so at that time it was still mainly these think tanks which were not the strategy units but which were units which were doing scenarios in order them to test robustness of the strategies which other units came came up with and then sort of when when we move towards the 80s and the 90s william see more and more methods entering the scene also realizing that well if i want to do a scenario planning i need to do my homework in terms of trent work first trend extrapolation trend audits we’re also seeing real-time Delphis being used to harness more expert knowledge and into your strategy making and think from the 2000s and onwards I’m seeing now what what I call foresight becoming a real capability and when I’m saying this then I’m saying that firms are realizing that if I’m in an uncertain environment I can not do non dynamic strategy I cannot use the data from the past in order to then tell me what to do the next five years it is about getting this dynamic view in and this is when when many organizations now realize I need actually to integrate more the different activities I’m doing whether it’s a sales forecast on the one hand or some technology units looking at emerging technologies on the other hand strategy work based on data about market forecasts etc these need to come together and we probably need in most industries also scenario based strategizing in order to to then play to win a future market which we all don’t know yet how it’s exactly going to play out yeah and one thing and one of your papers other things you said is and I think this is kind of relating to even sort of the question of what does it mean to really build a foresight capability you wrote foresight studies do not ensure the success of foresight in a corporate context which is kind of a an interesting comment I’m wondering if you could sort of expand on that and kind of start to unpack for us if if foresight doesn’t ensure the success of course I what those ensure the success of foresight so what I’ve been sort of experiencing myself being than a full sight inside an organization or helping organization as an academic as a consultant cetera is that we am with four side not only challenge the knowledge about a market a industry we challenge also the way we internally take decisions make strategy prioritize our innovation spending and that is something which we should never underestimate so I would say you know nine out of ten for side projects they are not reaching their full potential because we haven’t really figured out how to make sure that the people working with the results can can fully leverage on them can fully acknowledge them and can also work with them beyond the first decision they they have been maybe designed to help with so what and and you what what then the the one of ten that are successful in your point of view what what makes them successful what’s the what are the ingredients are the kind of the sets of processes that that make those work I think the first thing is participation I think what what we have had in many traditions is the sense that we have these futurists coming in opening the horizons bringing new insights new signals and then leaving again and us as us being the ones who take the decisions inside large

organizations basically then having to figure out how does that influence the decisions I was about to take does that trigger more innovation opportunities which I haven’t seen etc only to find out that I’ve got a busy schedule now I need to move on I need to make sure that I got my my free year a plan right and not having the time to fully digest what has been been given to me what is key I think here is that we need to enter an organization with a clear understanding of how season making is already taking place and then connecting to to those nodes and in the neural system of an organization in order to then really make make a difference and this is what I often see in successful projects that there’s already a good understanding of the industry they know people in the organization and they also on work with organizations only if they commit sufficient of their own time in order to make that project successful I mean could you give a steer like a case study or an example that you could share with us I know I know you’ve kind of documented a lot of this over the years is there one that comes to mind of a kind of real concrete example of what worked in my mmm-hmm well this there’s many examples of cases where you have sort of triggered newer innovations what is even more interesting for me as cases where you really change the mindsets how you approach an industry how you approach a market one in very interesting case was at Volkswagen some years ago where one was asking well how do we can become successful in the American market again the American market for German car company is never easy to understand but Holzer again they have a lot of problems were sales so what they wanted to anticipate is how does this market in the u.s. change you to to the drivers which are only present in the US market which I can’t see from from Germany and what they did is that they planted an entire team living for 18 months in in the US in order to explore the non market they have basically to work with the people they’re not selling to do ride-alongs understand what is the drivers which drive the future demand of those this is a project which has also resulted in a reorganization of the the car models for the US markets fundamental change also on how to address the market which which was documented and with that is is one of these rare cases where you have sort of a fundamental rethink of how to address a market and there’s many organizations which now also integrating this exposure to future trends on a regular basis so there’s for instance DHL which has a a trend grader which they use in order to get everyone involved in the organization to think about what is then the impact if we would have drones what would be the impact if we’re not allowed with with cars with combustion engines in the inner city how would we deliver them etc well thank you those are I mean those are great and I like this sort of variety because the the book so I can example Hugh shared was obviously a huge investment so I thought it’s nice to know that there’s kind of a range of ways and that you you’ve seen um so maybe can we transition a little bit to your kind of your current work um one of the things that you’ve been doing over the years is what you’re now calling the future fitness index I think it’s had a couple different names in the past but can you tell us tell us what that is what you’re trying to measure and kind of give us in the details better sure maybe I’m sharing quickly here some some slides and we can have a look on on what it also looks like you give me an OK if you can see the slides yep we’re good so what we see here is basically how all this got started so I already was elaborating that I was looking for other organizations who were good at for side I’m so very early on some 15 years ago by now I’ve been starting to do a lot of case studies trying to work out what works well for an organization by now we have some some 70ish case studies where we have had multiple interviewers looked

into both what does the firm do in terms of both side and what does then the firm for the in terms of enter sales better understanding of market the ability to enter a new market etc on the basis of this we we build some what we call our maturity model or now we call it future fitness we play here with the acronym also foresight innovation and transformation posits key to not only emphasize that firms need to look more outside the window and peer into the future but also to think how can all of this what comes back in terms of signals be translated into new innovation projects or indeed a more comprehensive transformation of the firm and maybe even the industry so that’s why we call that now future fitness hinting at you need to integrate these different elements to really get a superior firm performance out of this a third element sort of what what we draw on in order to advance our model is working with top management teams for me quite quite early on I I still remember sitting with a executive team member in a line launch and he looks at me and says you know I I read your book and I looked at your model I think something is missing here as interesting and took me four years to work out what to put into this model but you thought that something is missing and what was missing was that he said well ultimately a lot of decision-making is based on intuition and intuition is an interesting concept because intuition comes from all the experience you have accumulated so how do you make sure that all this experience these top management teams the etheric reports and so on have accumulated are entering your fore side work correct another drink and started processing what what he was telling me so what what is it important to understand is when we talk about four side it’s always important to understand how decision-making eventually takes place and bring that into into the equation and also as he was saying leverage on all this knowledge which is available and with this we we created a model on which we have three different processes and also a number of capabilities what that helps us with is that we can not only develop false ID for an organization through projects but also through on establish routines through institutionalization of this capability and that is in fact key as we can can show also empirically in order to to have them superior performance and have the ability to attend new industries so can i party there because what are the routines if i think people would want to know what are they what are the routines and best practices from your point of view I think that’s that’s always a really hard question to answer all right let me keep you there on on a bit of a cliffhanger okay oh you know some first results there on if we if we put that into an index which we have done and and look at the effects and then we come back maybe a little bit more on on some detailed practices which one the church so in principle what what we then figured is well if we are able to measure how good and how institutionalized these capabilities are maybe we can also give each firm an index on how good they are so what we did then is that we figured well this there’s a different you know levels which we can’t distinguish one would be a firm’s vigilant and first we also quickly realize that vigilant does not only mean that they are good at four sides but that it’s adequate to their environment if I’m in a slow-moving environment and I might also do less for soil than a firm which is in a fast moving environment so we have actually a comparative index which looks at the I’d need and the four side maturity and you have four different levels yeah I kind of show the level which I call vulnerable as also the level of vigilant which is green there’s another level which we call in danger if your foresight capability is much lower than the need which we assess based on on the industry then there’s also a theoretically a level which we call

neurotic which would be you doing way too much for sides then you would need four four very stable environments and then what we have in hand with an index like this is a tool to say if I have now trusters of organizations I can go forward in time and wait what will happen through these firms and see if they have a better or worse performance based on the groups which we clustered in before and here we we find very promising results and seven-year time frame we have the Vigilant firms clearly outperforming on on profitability and the average firm we see that on profitability than the vulnerable and the in dangerous they they are much less off on average in those clusters and we we then started checking these types of correlations also by looking inside the firm’s lookit looking for strategic moves looking for what kind of things do they do in terms of for side and we also looked at a different indicator so we for instance also looked at the market capitalization growth in this period and here the contrast is even more extreme we see that there’s much more growth in market capitalization from vigilant firms which emphasizes even stronger that even from an investor’s perspective because often we have this this kind of discussion being played out well these share all the driven companies they only form the short-term on it for the next quarter and therefore they don’t invest into foresight here we see actually that the fact that you have foresight has enabled you to grow much more than others and that is not surprising necessarily because your cause have been more chances to spot opportunities you have maybe also more chances to divest from industries or parts of your business where you say this is saturated but it’s very robust finding C on such a seven-year time frame so we do hope that that also on raises the attention from top management teams to say okay here’s something let’s explore this further what are them the capabilities which we need to build yeah and that’s I mean that’s one thing I really kind of love about the the work that you do because it’s I think intuitively most people understand that you know making decisions just to sort of maximize the next quarter knowing full well that you know you’re you’re offering a discount that’s going to sort of you know perpetuate discount cycles for your customers let’s say knowing knowing that you’re making a mistake but it’s very very hard to construct an argument that you should be doing that so I think really I really sort of admire that you’ve done that um one thing I guess I’m wondering is how do you know you know how do you how do you find yourself or how do you find what industry you’re in how do you know how vigilant so to speak you need to be right I mean we’re basically looking at three main drivers for for the need for four sides the first one is the complexity of the industry second one is the volatility of the industry and the third one is the hostility in that industry there’s a couple of things which you can measure objectively for instance the hostility you can also use a 1/2 mile index to look at the market concentration in an industry and use that for your index there’s other things which we get for experts ratings for instance when when you look at volatility well that is something which you can on the stock market in two but when you look into a specific industry you want to know well what is driving volatility from your competitors what’s driving volatility from your suppliers etc and and that we work with different scales to measure this and then we can also show changes over time so what we also see here is if you have a industry like the car industry which used to be one of the most stable industries over a hundred years the big car manufacturers are firmly in control of those industries they did need to fight for that control but they they maintained it while now there’s so much movement through the technological change prove the potential of electric mobility reducing the complexity of the product dramatically also the opportunity for new players to enter the

scene that the volatility as assessed by the experts in the industry is right now increasing heavily which means that in such moments you need also to upgrade your reflexes or as we would say upgrade you are corporate forces capabilities and maybe now you could transition and I’ll remind folks and obviously we’ve already had a few questions in the in the Q&A please keep adding to them we’ll turn to those in just a couple of minutes but I’m wondering now if you could share with us what those you know what those processes are and I think you’ve talked about them I believe is the three P’s I think it’s the right thing right so we basically use these free piece because they’re pretty straightforward to follow so when it comes to perceiving well it’s all about the actual trend work so make sure that you’re looking everywhere where you need to look so it’s important to look also in in spaces where otherwise you don’t have the sensors because everyone gets a lot of insights from their sales channels from from their suppliers etc but here we typically work with firms to and under and what would be the signals which important to you but which you would overlook and then build specific sensors to to scan there then what is even more important than having these signals is to start translating them start discussing them start internalizing them as an organisation and here we have started to work with such radar frameworks also some 15 years ago I think it’s going to be more and more adopted to have something like this and there’s a number of reasons why one should have an own corporate radar the first is that you are asking need to keep track of so much that you are wanted to have a stable framework where you can once needed always go back to find also a structure which you know cetera the second reason is that to be agile you need to take decisions fast and in order to do that you need to have pre assess these drivers of change you need to have a corporate opinion about it you need to do trend audits so that you know when to respond and thirdly you want to make sure that not the legacy business units are grabbing all the money you have to invest into the future of your organization so eventually you need to make sure that the areas which are identifies being very promising in your organization are also being invested in in in a sufficient quantity so it’s all about this is translation from signal to what do I then need to do about it and do you have an exemplar – of anyone who’s done this work well I think there’s many now who have such radars one organization where we also documented with a case what they did is Cisco for instance which is a company which has always been driven by small unit startups which come in bring the innovation and at the time where it was more and more difficult to find such new startups which would fuel the growth of the the company they started to become more systematic about what is then the technologies we believe in how do we get access to them ahead of our competitors etc so I judged this as a rather successful case also one which is then is it personalized through a radar platform which people have access from from around the forum so maybe I’ll start here I’ll kind of jump into some of these audience questions I do have a couple more things I’ll probably ask you to at the end but let me just sort of jump into some of these and again keys please keep it feel free to keep adding one that really followed up on something that you said in toward the beginning of our conversation is sort of the 1 to 10 success ratio and just I’m just very straightforward question is how do we increase that 1 to 10 success ratio so it’s 2 to tender yeah okay hopefully we’re like we had 10 intent but even 2 to 10 would be a big leap so how do you you know how do you do that what are your strategies for doing that yeah I think there’s no silver bullet for this what we see in organizations is that we fighting against these sort of established rules of where attention

goes so I think in many organizations if not in a crisis have a lot of appetite grow the same business model to emphasize what what they have been successful with in the past and I think what what we jointly need to do as a community is understand transport more the message of how this actually limits your ability to grow and the ability to profit from uncertainty and this is something which I think many curriculum in strategy courses and so on into to adopt and you new tools into their curriculums make sure that that organizations understand how do you with uncertainty but I think more importantly is on the project basis that your ensure that you only do the project if the organization is also taking it seriously so we often also not work with organizations if we realize they want this project just to have something to say in in the annual report about the future of the industry if they want only to do this project in order to do a little bit of you know robustness checking of what they already decided to do I think what’s important is that when we do four side work is that we do it then with partners also will say we engage in this because we have in mind to to engage in this strategy project and then plan accordingly so that you have also joined teams I think what we are often also do potentially too much is that we come with all the signals we have seen go into an organization which don’t understand all of this and then sends us home after they have digested it while there’s so much richness in the knowledge of the organization which can be incorporated in the projects so one of the main things we always emphasize is that we work together with the organization’s we work with and we also bring the knowledge which they have into the fore side and futures project and process you know building on that one of the things a couple questions on is is just around executive decision rate your decision-making in general but executive decision-making in particular and I’m wondering how do you bridge that gap because it’s so often the case that executives are so they feel so overwhelmed by just all the pressures of daily management tasks that you’re getting an hour to think about the future is sort of yeah almost impossible but I mean shouldn’t be but it’s almost impossible as a practical matter so how do you engage executive decision makers how do you sort of make this tangible for them well what what we often start with is actually with with in a very old formula which Gary Hamel and and CK prods have proposed once they and they said well we sort of work out that’s only about 3% which top management teams spend on competing for the future as they call it which is you know looking ahead looking outside the window and doing that collaboratively and this is something which we then wear top management teams discussed I believe three percent from how many would mean seven days actually per year I would say that’s that’s much more than what I’m seeing with large organizations so it is about reserving this time but at the same time it is also about making sure that four sides and directly goes into the processes where it is most needed there is one method which which we have developed let me just open may be these these last couple of areas here which which we have worked with Bosch on understanding how can we make scenario planning and ongoing activity and we call that scenario based strategizing we’ve also published about it so it’s material which is available also in the public domain but the idea here is to say well we actually need to ensure that in a volatile industry we have always a common ground from which we can start taking decisions start strategizing and this is potentially not only the strategies and so not only the scenarios that is potentially also different strategies and this is something I am often emphasized here organizations are built in the way to grow existing business models but many decision-makers

realized that there’s kind of this itch but if your kindness see that itch now is starting to to be very itchy you say well maybe the industry as I know what is in for major disruption but it’s difficult to make it tangible in day-to-day decision-making but a company like Bosch they have been working with scenarios for a very long time they would have then a mental common ground whenever they think about building a new factory they would be able to connect this with well this would actually only be a good investment if this scenario plays their part but in another scenario where we have heavily autonomous driving where we might be selling less cars this would be a very risky investment and then you can start entering with four side thinking into this day-to-day decision-making but also then in the short term strategy planning and go beyond sort of the long term strategy planning and this is something which I think more and more organizations which are faced with with uncertainty in their environment will be adopting and I just I want to come maybe a quick follow-up to that I’m wondering about just keeping foresight or keeping the long term point of view in the heads of decision makers so MIT so many groups that I work with will find they’ll really want to stay engaged but can’t and so then as with anything if you don’t do it on a regular basis it’s sort of you know it becomes less relevant in your head or just becomes less accessible so how do you is this part of a strategy for overcoming that or sort of building continuous engagement yes I think what’s what we see here now on on the slide is all towards which we emphasize that they need to be institutionalized so this is radar for us is not just something you you publish once this is something you work with again and again I’m in my MBA classes I often ask well what’s the most important thing on this slide then I wait a little bit and when people start saying yeah I think the radar I think it you know the roadmap they on the right hand side we really need to make commitments and so on and and I’m saying well yes in order to get the results you have in mind but in order to have a successful organization you need to emphasize all these arrows which we have put into the picture you need to make sure that this communicates because that’s going to then going to to be you nervous system which will ensure your health going forward in time and this is a change in mindset which we are witnessing I think as we speak I think many industries today faced with with crisis of the Corbett 19 I’m realizing that it is not the time now to look at let’s say the sales numbers going down for my travel business it is now the time to leave those daily accounting and controlling tasks aside and to focus on futures work on understanding what are the drivers behind these declining revenues will people be hesitant for a long time to go on longer trips and by airplane tickets etc what is really driving than these changes which we see happening right now and I think once you had such a moment and many organization realize what they have been lacking for such a long time and do need it on on a continuous basis thank you and so I’m gonna switch topics a little bit and I do want to conclude I’m gonna conclude with a question about about sort of navigating the kind of very current suddenly very I think shaky economic climate but I’m curious we have several questions that sort of are really kind of you boiled down to the applicability of these kinds of tools or your model to governments to higher education to startups you know basically how I’m gonna I know your your work is focused on sort of corporate value I’m in particular I think larger corporations we also had a question about public and private corporations so I guess maybe if you just sort of talk about how much can this be brought in between different sectors how much of this do you feel like is is really specific to corporates and and how do you think about different kinds of strategies from different sectors I think it’s a good question I think what what my parents has been dominated by is the work in in

for-profit organizations and I’m seeing also quite stark differences here between organizations which are family-owned which are typically more concerned what will the next generation inherits what what will be the legacy of my company what is then the values which which we M stay with constantly over time how do they change and and share all the companies which which would have more a concern about continuously giving a good message towards the shareholders and so it’s already quite some differences there I think the entire four side fields is is fuelled by the limitations we have when we anticipate as a group of people as as humans we are quite good at anticipating because we learn this way we experiment with this throughout our entire life but once you put two people together basically all the challenges which you have in decision-making are hitting you at once and this is where we’re seeing a lot of very interesting work also to do four sides with governments with NGOs where they they use four side and and futures methods in order to shape basically the future the communities the the entities want to have and I think the four side methods they apply similarly the motivation might be a different one and often the more Purpose Driven organization find that for side work it’s even more beneficial for them because they can open up the process of setting priorities of defining strategy etc I think we see a lot of work entering that space every funston’s also doing some work with the Asian Development Bank which is very interested to to help developing countries also shape their own profiles in terms of what are they good at on the global scale and foresight towards can can help their a lot in order to bring such profiles tonight develop them further and then develop the country is economies and the public and private sectors around this um so maybe add a lot of questions here so I’m gonna skip kind of direct follow-ups for just practical matter one question here I’ll just read it how important do you think non-industry forecasting is for organisations so you know feature of work governance if they’re kind of really big broad questions how basically how broad do you go I think is this question and you know how how broad or how narrow and what’s the right what’s the right mark for a foresight study No maybe just stop sharing here for the time being yeah it’s it’s a good question I mean I’ve been always triggered by by a lot of pragmatism trying to figure find out what is what is feasible when we were my results go sometimes on one ring with with this so open-ended four sides where it is actually going right I mean what what is then the actors which are informed by this what actions will they take etc and this is something something which is is worth considering at the same time I think there’s brilliant groundwork which I’ve been seeing which we can leverage on so many non-governmental organizations which are doing very exciting foresight work which then allows then different actors to to link to a straw from it so I think this work is something which needs to be encouraged while at the same time one needs to wonder okay so where exactly does this then influence decision-making in order to then also shape these activities in order to fit this need another question again I’ll just kind of read a couple of these for expediency in addition to identifying and evaluating the implications of external environmental factors to the company should for ciders also consider the evaluation of the possible implications of corporate decisions in strategic options or should the emphasis be simply an experiment in learning what the best option is yeah we emphasize basically to connect the internal and

the external view which which we do also if this scenario based strategizing I think it is is really cross fertilizing in a very important way so let’s take an example if I would be an airline company and today I’m wondering about what will be the changes in demand for my services and the current dip which I’m experiencing how lasting is it well there is certainly an internal and external perspective now to take into account here on the external perspective there’s there’s a number of drivers which you are you’re now starting to unfold so I mean we’re doing a webinar here today I think many organizations have put such strong travel ban regulation in place that many will be forced to take a lot of their work online and they might get used to it and they might get used to travel less so there’s a lot to explore here to understand what what is fundamentally changing potentially the demand patterns here and at the same time I need also to understand who is then playing in in this space and how are they playing so if if I want to have cell seats and in an L aircraft I might still do so but only flexibly if I give the chance to people then to also opt out of the service again how would I cope with this internally what is the implications on my operations what’s the implications on on then also the the ticket conditions etc I think these always need to come together and it’s it’s rare moments when all of these factors get challenged at one point in time but once the challenge is there I have very little response time and this is why we emphasize that organizations need to do this homework upfront and think about the different strategic options think about the different scenarios of the environment they might have and start playing out how they would respond using business war games using other tools in order to once the threat is really imminent that they can then respond quickly yeah and maybe I’m wondering if you can expand a little bit beyond just yeah the most obviously impacted industries I think we’re all sort of you know I’ve been looked at the Dow the Dow Jones average since since we started but I’m gearing myself up to look at it when we’re done I think we’re all sort of anticipating that this is going to be that were headed for a sort of a moment of recession who knows hopefully it won’t be too bad and hopefully the coronavirus will not be nearly as bad as some of the bad scenarios look but what should people who are suddenly I think are gonna really need to rethink a lot of their own work as foresight practitioners in the next six months the next year what should they be doing if you’re not you know not in the airline industry but let’s say you’re in yes something something much more much less impacted but still it’s going to be a factor in your work now hmm I think I mean that was the moment where many organisations would discover how important it is to do a four or four side works thoroughly look at the different drivers I think what’s also clear is that the virus threat will impact the different industries in different way I think by now it’s also clear that there’ll be not fewer industry yes that it will be not impacted at all so I think what’s what that implies is that every industry has has a big interest now to start making that that work to understand what are the driving factors of my own demand the own implications for me for my supply chains etc and go beyond basically the direct implications for for sales and supply chains in the short term because the main questions investors will be asking the top management teams now is how long will the impact be and how bad is it going to get and this is something which for none of the industries is a trivial question to answer and probably there’s no right or wrong answer now because M the virus plays out on different levels as direct health impact level but there’s also and the economic factors of the actions which we take to to prevent the spread cetera and this is something where both sides towards foresight knowledge management trend orders will help a lots to to anticipate different alternative strategies and how I can deal with this up to the point

that you know some some consolidation in the airline industry can be expected and can be prepared for okay so I’m going to ask you to be quick now I mean I try to get two final questions on some kind of quick quick answers one is what are the skills needed inside an organization to execute on this so what what skills do you need to do foresight I don’t know if you’ve done any work on skills or have any reflections on skills yes I think the first thing is they should have to follow your webinar course there are course which I started to look into which I love great work I think that’s that’s something a lot of basic and even beyond basic tool kit is actually available in public domain so congratulations on this work I think beyond that we we do need to marry the four side and strategy work together so I think we we do need to work together further to develop also the methods to learn to work in the traditional strategy project with four side input and I think this work has been started with some of them work on on scenario based strategizing and others but that’s something which which we need to do more off and then of course the basic work with going from just spotting a trend to fully translating it to also work with quantitative forecasting models to something which the organization’s really need okay and I guess the final question I’ll ask is is this it’s I’m in a corporate and corporate strategy in a tech company basically the question is where do I start who do I bring aboard first how do I look for an early success I don’t know if you have any I’m assuming that it depends on the context and company so there’s probably not a silver bullet but do you have any advice on how to find a good starting point I often look for the imminent decisions which need to be taken for instance in our d investment in impacting on the next technology etc where there is already a lot of interest around in the organization and then we basically look at well how would that decision be taken without work and then we look at how to enhance this so that you have an early success story where you say well this this would have been our our direct response to that question and now that we did this work and we see that there’s actually multiple responses maybe there’s others which which are more interesting for us to do now maybe there’s also a way to look at the investment options perspective I think this is something which I would always emphasize not start with the tool will not start with the big schemes but start with something you have a direct concrete impact thank you so I’m and can you put up a slide in a second but a lot of your work is publicly out there in the world isn’t as an academic share like in a second but I’m do you want to just say anything about how to look up more information and a couple of the journal articles you mentioned people were interested in finding out more about so I think there’s probably two places to start one is the chair which I’m running which is called the full side innovation and transformation a chair and my name I guess you drop directly on it there we we try to share both the research but also then additional material which which we have in terms of white papers etc so as for instance the white paper to download where we share the main results from our research and then of course if you’re more interested in the tools we try to put everything in the public domain where public researchers should be useful for and usable for everyone so my research guide profile is certainly also a good place to start to maybe subscribe to and on top of that you know feel free to reach out also to us if you have something specific I mean our community is certainly also fueled by lot of sharing and I’m happy to be part of that and I’m from every interaction so I’m so happy – thank you so much so let me just kind of close that with a couple kind of a couple of pieces of information if you’re interested and we’d encourage you in super the feature we we run a sort of broad cost across industry through cross-domain global ten year forecast so they call I have to get Vantage we’d encourage you just to check that out if you have interest in sort of you know in getting your organization involved in sort of foresight research and that’s a great resource for you and then finally if we

would just encourage you to keep in touch with us so this is Renee’s emails up there I work I’m happy to have you reach out to me about anything I always enjoy conversation about foresight and then we have a couple of coming toxin may be of interest to you Stuart candy who’s an associate professor of foresight at Carnegie Mellon will be joining us on April 28th again at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time I’m also in May 6th have a really fun conversation with one of our friends the organization david Peskov it’s who’s a great writer and thinker and and a long time sort of member of active community talking about our magical future science art and the imagination so we hope you’ll check all of that out the video of this will be posted within a week of so if you want to circle back send this to colleagues pick up on parts of this that you missed this will be up on our website shortly and with that thank you all for attending and hope to see you at the next webinar thank you so much Renee we really appreciate your time