Developing Your Foresight Muscles

Once or twice a year companies reach into their tool kit and pull out strategy, then hope that it will hold for the whole year. The volatility of the global environment makes the idea of extrapolation, predicting the future based on the past, delusional. I know! Over my career in facilitation I have facilitated a ton of strategy sessions. A change is overdue. Invariably the thinking leans toward the short-term (reflecting one of four bias buckets) and has a tendency to extrapolate from the past, which is flat out dangerous.

What do you do instead?

In this week’s episode of the Insight to Action podcast, Patricia Lustig, author of Strategic Foresight, explains how to move from using one future to using a range of possible futures.

She also describes:
• How to develop your foresight muscles,
• How to scan emerging futures on a regular basis,
• What happens when you combine emerging trends together,
• What went wrong with the emergency response plan at the nuclear power plant Fukushima Daiichi and what other companies with emergency response plans can learn,
• How to work with the unthinkable,
• Why using foresight strategically gives you the side benefit of seeing patterns so critical for workplace health and decision making accuracy.

We also talk about the ‘other’ Fukushima plant, the one that didn’t melt-down because the manager astutely made the uncertainty transparent.

You’ll find Patricia’s book Strategic Foresight. Her website is . and the non-profit site she mentions is

Patricia Lustig is an internationally recognized practitioner in strategic foresight and strategy development, future thinking and innovation. She has held senior positions at major blue-chip companies such as BP, Motorola and Logica and is a Fellow of the RSA. Patricia is the author of a number of respected books and is the founder of international business consultancy LASA Development. She is currently setting up the Unlocking Foresight Know How C.I.C. Patricia’s most recent book, Strategic Foresight: Learning from the Future is published by Triarchy Press.

Speed of Change Denial-3D Printing and other Interview Mentions

I’ll admit to being surprised to hear that most people underestimate the amount and speed of change leaving all companies vulnerable to be caught unprepared. Patricia also mentions a book written by John Petersen called Out of the Blue: Wild cards and other big future surprises : how to anticipate and respond to profound change.

And then there’s the 3D printing of mud huts in AFrica. That conversation reminded me that I’d written an article for Decision Making for Dummies which referred to the story of the non-profit Not Impossible’s 3D printing of prosthetics also in Africa. All funded by crowdfunding cost of 3D printed limbs are affordable. Watch Daniel’s story here.

We also talk about Decision Making for Dummies because when I wrote it, I included tips for working with uncertainty. Decision Making for Dummies

Thanks for reading my blog. Please subscribe to the Insight to Action podcast on iTunes or you’ll find it on Google Play and some episodes on Soundcloud. (Every time I post there they keep asking for more and more money!). Enjoy the holiday….


The global and business issues we face today require full employee engagement and a different thinking. Dawna loves to work collaboratively to evolve and transform workplaces to be more ‘fit’, agile and inspiring. By shifting perspective to expose the invisible elements creating routine results, clients gain the strength and clarity needed to remove barriers to growth. Intelligent and intuitive insights strengthen leadership capacity to use complexity fluently and grow beyond the limitations of profit to achieve greater prosperity and value. To activate a quantum leap in leadership, Dawna started the Evolutionary Provocateur podcast in 2008. Author of Decision Making for Dummies, a speaker and a tad nomadic, Dawna is currently working on using Virtual and Augmented Reality to accelerate business culture change and human potential. An original thinker, she brings personal experience with resilience and transformation to her leadership.


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