Reimagining the Future – A Journey Through the Looking Glass


openSAP Promo Slide

I have spent the better part of two months filming an online thought leadership course focused on our emerging future. The free course will be available starting May 23rd. I had the pleasure of working with futurists Gerd Leonhard, Gray Scott, and Chunka Mui. In addition, I was joined by Element Fleet Management executive Michele Cunningham, as well as TCS CTO Ananth Krishnan, and BRP CIO Hassan El Bouhali.

A video promo of the course along with the course description are available here. I hope you take the time to journey with me through the looking glass. course summary and bios for my guests are also included below.

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See the Future, Rehearse it and Adapt to the Inevitable Shifts


In my last post, I described a Sense and Respond model that sits at the heart of several activities, including scenario, opportunity, and risk analysis. As complexity and pace continue to intensify, uncertainty increases. To survive in this Emerging Future, we must embrace a framework for future thinking,  and an organization that can adapt as it shifts. In essence, we must see the future, rehearse it, continuously monitor for shifts, and adapt as the shifts occur. A sense and respond model sits at the core of the framework – but represents the biggest cultural challenge.

Framework for the Future

Figure 1: The See-Rehearse-Adapt Framework

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Visualizing our Emerging Future


As the pace of science, technology, and societal change accelerates, a vision of our future is emerging. Many future scenarios are viewed as science fiction, or thought to have timelines that are too far into the future to worry about. I hold a firm belief that these timelines are collapsing and future scenario analysis is critical both at a business and societal level.

I have used this visual as a driver of future scenario analysis. It has been captured and utilized in workshop and events. It is described in a post on Connecting Dots, which I view as a critical leadership trait. Given its exposure, I am making a copy available via this PDF.

emerging-future

 

Connecting Dots


I participated in a radio show yesterday brought to you by Coffee Break with Game Changers. The show was hosted by Bonnie D. Graham and is now available on-demand here. When asked about a leadership trait required to effectively navigate our exponential future, I echoed something I have positioned many times via this Blog: Connecting Dots. The speed dimension that has accelerated our pace will put those dots in constant motion – so it’s a continuous state of connecting that makes this more challenging than our forward looking efforts of the past. The foundation for this argument was positioned in my post describing how Disruptive Power Lies at the Intersections. This visual from that post leverages my anchor visual on our emerging future.disruptive-power

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Our Emerging Future


In my last post, I added more future scenarios to this visual describing the complexity and impact of our emerging future. The one piece left unfinished was the expansion of innovation accelerators to include emerging and future accelerators. With input from TCS CTO Ananth Krishnan, I have added a number of accelerators to the visual.

emerging-and-future-accelerators

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Anticipating 2025 – Part One


I spent time over the Christmas holiday reading a book titled Anticipating 2025. Forward looking analysis that connects leaders with disruptive scenarios and their implications are invaluable, and books like this provide tremendous support. In my next series of Blog posts, I will summarize the salient points from a number of futurists who authored this work. As described in the books opening, futurists are concerned with highlighting a whole range of possible futures, not necessarily pinpointing exactly when something will happen. From the book:

“Futurists seek to draw people’s attention to forthcoming threats, before these threats become too damaging, and to forthcoming opportunities, before these opportunities slip outside of our collective grasp due to inaction on our part”

The book is divided into five sections:

  1. Setting the scene
  2. Re-designing medicine and healthcare
  3. Re-designing artificial intelligence
  4. Re-designing society
  5. Redesigning humanity

Part one of this Blog series will set the scene. In the book’s first section, the authors focus on driving forces, big shifts, and roadblocks. It is believed that if developed and deployed wisely, technology could provide a great future of unprecedented abundance, health, and vitality. But there is much uncertainty and a number of obstacles to overcome. In setting the scene, twenty technology areas where wide-ranging developments are 50% likely between now and 2025 are identified:

25 Technology Areas

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An Interview with Futurist Thornton May


I thought it would be interesting to get a slightly different perspective on the questions that I posed to Futurist Gerd Leonhard in our recent interview. So I reached out to IT Futurist Thornton May. Thornton and I have interacted on a number of occasions at various events. His bio describes him as a futurist, educator and author. His extensive experience researching and consulting on the role and behaviors of C-level executives in creating value with information technology has won him an unquestioned place on the short list of serious thinkers on this topic. Thornton moderates the nationally recognized CIO Solutions Gallery program, intended for executives and senior leaders in the technology and operations communities.

With that background, I was excited to explore these broad topics with Thornton. His perspective follows.

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