The Importance of Cross-Industry Conversations in Continuous Foresight

Neither disruption nor innovation rarely ever comes from within one’s own industry. While monitoring changes in one’s own industry may help them stay afloat, the organisations that lead the change are those who keep a cross-industry pulse on emerging weak signals.

September 16, 2020, Gökce Sandal

Futures and foresight-oriented discussions have a tendency to focus on specific industries. Having an in-depth understanding of key trends and directions within one’s industry is a must, however, a too heavy focus on industry-specific approaches can also be limiting.

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The value of having conversations with foresight experts

 

The human brain is wired to follow familiar patterns of thinking and utilise the information that is already available to us. While these patterns help us react fast and navigate situations easily, they also block us from accessing new knowledge and recognising new patterns.

Similarly, there are established ways of doing things in every organisation and industry that may stifle strategic foresight efforts and innovation.

Industry bias may lead professionals into evaluating future developments incorrectly – for example by overemphasizing the impact of trends within their operating environment and underestimating the ones that seem too distant or irrelevant.

This is where the importance of having conversations with foresight experts comes in. As professionals who research change from a holistic perspective, foresight experts are not bound by industry-specific contexts.

Discussing emerging signals of change with a foresight expert can significantly expand organisations’ thinking, help them discover new opportunity areas and inform their innovation management processes.

 

Futures-minded communities: Tapping into collective insight

 

Having a community of futures-minded professionals is great way to network and stay on the pulse of emerging changes at the same time.

Being part of a community of futures-minded professionals from diverse industries will give every professional and organisation the opportunity to leverage different knowledge types, see beyond their area of expertise, and ensure they’re not caught off-guard when the disruption hits.

By continuously exchanging ideas with cross-industry experts on foresight best practices and potentially disruptive weak signals, organisations can minimise the risk of overlooking important signals of change and become better equipped to seize innovation opportunities.

Moreover, engaging collectively with the uncertainty of futures makes dealing with today’s wicked problems much easier. Mobilising collective thinking and crowdsourcing ideas will help point new directions for inclusive and desirable futures.

 

Futures Clinic: Ask a Futurist Anything

 

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On 24th September 2020, Futures Platform launches its new service Futures Clinic where you will get to discuss any topic you’ve been curious about with a futurist.

In these sessions, you will also have the opportunity to discuss with other future-minded professionals from diverse industries.
 

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