“So you can see the future, Franz?” is what people often ask me. Well not exactly, there is no magic or witchcraft here. But as an applied futurist, I know can facilitate a process called future casting which allows a corporation, government, or team to identify possible future outcomes based on desk research, expert interviews, and joint judgment. Once identified, I work jointly with my clients on defining what positive futures we want to create and which negative ones we should aim to avoid. And then it's all preparation and execution.
Future casting is a great process to break the traditional thinking of established companies that usually only plan 12-18 months ahead and consequently see themselves underperforming when major changes in the marketplace take place. Identifying the threats or opportunities is often not the main problem here, it's the lack of creation, early adaption, or innovation to create a positive future as the necessary work falls prey to daily operations and challenges.
I started woring with possible futures at LEGO where two development loops (one 2-4 years into the future, one 1-2 years) assured the company remained innovative and competitive. Future casting is similar in its process as we establish very clear action plans called backcasting that assure the future is not only some thought experience but something the organization moves towards.
In recent years I worked with strategic planning departments, innovation teams, and the board of directors of several larger corporations and a local government to create a positive future and assure avoiding negative outcomes.
In my keynote “Being disruptive at scale” I explain some concepts and tools used. Have a look.