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From futures literacy to strategic foresight

• 15.05.19 •

Petri Rikkinen • Emerging business & culture initiatives

We wanted to understand and find bottom-up practices, actions and attitudes for how you and me, or Jane/John Doe, consider futures in our daily decision and actions at work - futures literacy as we call it in our freshly published report.

Futures thinking and doing is a fundamental skill set for any employee now and in the future. Companies cannot afford to delegate the contents and outcomes of the future-proofing exercises to a few experts and top leadership alone.

We made a study to explore the topic further and here are some of our findings:

When is the ‘future’ and how can we work on it?

  • Only 15% in our survey think beyond 5 years in their daily work.
  • Those at disruption risk think further into the future.
  • Smaller companies (< 250 employees,) were more active with idea testing, data forecasting and risk mitigation.

What are futures made of and by whom?

  • In general, now is the era of the individual thinker and how they make us see the future.
  • As could be anticipated, leadership (55,6%), technology (44,4%) and business (42,2%) promote futures in the organizations – with R&D and innovation only in fourth place (33,3%).
  • In the bottom 3 of promoting the future are HR (6,7%) and Risk, Quality & Legal (4%).

What is the value of the future?

  • Futures thinking is considered difficult, because it involves dealing with complex systems and processes that can seem impossible to map. - Yet, 95% of survey participants sees that futures thinking is an extra gear to perform better.

Find out more insight and how to shift the bigger gear on from the study report.

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