Equipping your organization for an uncertain future is a daunting task. If you’re already over-stretched dealing with the pressures of today – it can seem like an impossible one.
But building future planning into your everyday practices is not only vital – it’s eminently doable.
Managing the Future offers a straightforward and pragmatic approach to strategic planning. It takes an honest look at the limitations of forecasting, and shows (through real-life examples and a wealth of experience) how managers can best use a variety of futuring methods, including scenarios, horizon scanning and trend monitoring.
Future studies and practices emphasize methods, techniques, and tools, but often lack the sound theoretical foundation enjoyed by the natural, and many of the social, sciences. Yet theoretical first principles provide the foundation for solving practical problems – including planning, investing, managing, etc. This book offers, for the first time in print, five fundamental principles for futuring and visioning:
Futuring Principle 1: The future will be some unknown combination of continuity and change.
Futuring Principle 2: The future can be anticipated with varying degrees of uncertainty depending upon conditions.
Futuring Principle 3: Futuring and visioning are different but complementary perspectives of the future.
Futuring Principle 4: The best forecasts and plans are methodically generated and provide well considered expectations for the future.
Futuring Principle 5: There is no such thing as an immutable forecast or plan for an immutable future. Forecasts and plans must be continuously monitored, evaluated, and revised according to new data and conditions in order to improve real-time frameworks for making long-term decisions and strategies.
In outlining his Five Futuring Principles, Dr. Millett provides a clear theoretical framework for preparing an organization for the future. He then takes us through the practical steps involved in managing a forward-facing organization, including:
managing “futuring” (the external-to-internal process of scanning the environment to anticipate the trends that will affect your organization);
managing “visioning” (realizing the internal mission, values, aspirations and goals of an organization and its management, and then turning your organization outward to face the world);
trend analysis as pattern recognition;
the advantages and disadvantages of expert judgement ;
both intuitive and analytical scenarios for forecasting and planning.
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