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

 

Coffee Break with Game Changers: An Innovation Explosion


On November 30th, I had the pleasure of participating in another Game Changers show. I was joined by Futurist Gerd Leonhard and SAP Innovation executive Timo Elliott. The show was expertly moderated by Bonnie D. Graham, starting with her positioning of the topic: “Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion” (Muhammad Ali). A unique clustering of inventions in the century after the U.S. Civil War improved the American and European standard of living – human well-being – more than any period before or after, with advances in everything from food and energy to health and work. Can our current innovation explosion have a similar impact despite unintended consequences? 

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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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Technology and Ethics


Some in the Futurist community are focused on technology and ethics. Gerd Leonhard has been particularly vocal on the topic. I’ve dedicated a section of my keynote to what I believe will be a growing dialog. I use this slide to pose a question to the audience:

Technology and Ethics

The example provided above comes from Ray Kurzweil, famous Futurist, Inventor and author. In an appearance at last years Exponential Finance conference, Kurzweil said this:

“Our thinking will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking. We’re going to gradually merge and enhance ourselves. In my view, that’s the nature of being human – we transcend our limitations. We’ll be able to extend (our limitations) and think in the cloud. We’re going to put gateways to the cloud in our brains.”

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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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