In your company, encourage cross-border, multi-dimensional thinking in contexts, in complex interrelationships, in cause-effect relationships, in contradictions and in paradoxes. Try to integrate topics with a medium-term impact horizon into operational business. Set up these dialogs in a connectable communication process in which content-related trends are captured, limits of one’s own impact are questioned, new things are introduced into corporate development, and the path is continuously reviewed and adjusted.
The exchange of experts from different disciplines on future topics (strategic conversation) enables individual findings to be linked and can lead to a coherent mindset of descriptors for the future, which also includes possible disruptive events, so-called wild cards. Such wild cards can be, for example, technological leaps, government (de)regulations, terrorist attacks or epidemics. The basic idea here is that intellectual capital increases when it is shared, since important new knowledge is formed precisely at the interfaces between instances, i.e. in cross-border relationships between experts, teams and organizations. The interfaces can be, for example, boundaries between departments, company boundaries, industry boundaries, or regional boundaries.
Discuss alternative development directions in your team, identify strategic courses of action, and assess the consequences of possible actions. An analysis-based “systematic look into the future” has a high utility value. Describe the “future spaces” with the probable, consistent manifestations of the key influencing factors and trends and possibilities in scenarios. In this way, you gain vivid and coherent contexts for suitable strategies, for the identification of new markets and new scope, and for the directed, creative development of future products and services.
The constructive exchange of experience between experts from different disciplines and ideally also from different industries on future topics can also pave the way for interesting research, production and marketing collaborations for the benefit of all involved. Therefore, consciously include selected customers and suppliers and even industry outsiders in your strategic dialogs. In this way, foresight initiatives can be door openers to attractive business networks.
Make sure that the results you arrive at in your foresight dialog are incorporated into your business models and strategy development. This derivation can be well supported by a design thinking process.