Skip to content

Crystal balls, flying cars, a new herd of unicorns in the horizon – or being prepared for changes that lie ahead?

You might not have that crystal ball but here are the great news. You don’t need it. 

The ones that hold the future in their hands are actually the ones that are prepared for it. One can’t be future-proof – even though we consultants seem to love that word, but you can be future-prepared. Yes, it’d be awesome to be future-proof, but frankly, nobody can be that. If you prepare, you’ll prepare for multiple plausible futures if you do it right. 

As we know from the rather recent pandemic and from the extremely sad as well as aggressive outrages in the world – this world can change overnight. There’s no point in speculating which timeframe you’re preparing to. Unless you want to be very imaginative and play with something like year 2080. But that has more to do with a creative exercise than actually preparing your business for the future. One can go around speculating about those flying (or self-driving) cars and how the business environment will look like when the current staff isn’t around anymore – but no point in that other than shake up thinking to fly high. Prepare for the future you and your team is around. The future where you’re the one that has to deal with the changes, rapid or incremental.  


The future you need foresight for is the future you play a part in. 

 Coming back to the overnight changes. A war as an option for a risk wasn’t usually even in the picture a bit more than a year back. To introduce that into the discussion you were looked at in a bit crooked way and called a catastrophist. The risks that happen around your business don’t need to be that extreme. Also, other factors might affect you in a way that your expenses reach the sky in a very short time period – what do you do then? Or your customers disappear – either as they flee or as they are forced to stay at home.  

Uncertainty itself has become a force of change itself. And these forces of change can’t be controlled by companies – unless you’re Alphabet or Meta, and even then… It might be more than hard. But as them, you can play a part and drive the change for the future you believe in and the future you want to happen. 

How about this? To be prepared isn’t about picking up the correct things to happen. It’s about being prepared for surroundings that the behaviour you based your business on has changed profoundly. It’s not about naming shocks that might affect you, it’s about noticing which kind of behaviour might occur and then changing the surroundings you operate in. Also, it’s not even that much about the behavioural change. I indeed hate when someone says that customer needs have changed. 98% of the time they haven’t. The methods and our behaviour of how we as a species behave and fulfil our needs have changed. Keep that in mind – it’s easier for us to take another tool into our lives than change what we have been used to do.  

What is the most crucial thing in foresight is what kind of action you take.  

If there ain’t any actions based on your foresight work has been just – as said previously a creative exercise to flex your mind.  

 It’s the actions put into practice that matter. You might question which actions I’m talking about as we’re talking about futures. Those things that we don’t know yet. If we’re waiting to see what happens how do we take action? Well, the key here is the word “waiting” – one doesn’t wait. One keeps the eyes open after the foresight work, one applies action on how to get a sniff on if any of the predicted futures is about to take part in real life, even partially. Also part of the foresight should be to see the gap that lies in between of the current state and the most plausible future and then assessing what needs to be done in order to move over this gap and be an active player in building the future. 

Being proactive is easier when the skills to cover the gap are developed. We all can perhaps agree on that being proactive for the future would be the ideal state to be in. But to be reactive by minimizing the reaction time will give you a competitive advantage. 

Easier said than done.  

But your strategy is the place you put your foresight into action.  

 And then your brand is the place to put your strategy to action. Foresight work isn’t being future-proof I say. It’s about paving the road to be future-relevant.