We investigate the future and try to solve problems, unearth hidden opportunities, and run successful businesses in the twenty-first century. Here is a glimpse how:
Futurists believe the following seven triggers lead to realization of opportunities:
1. Start with Certainty
By distinguishing what is certain (future fact) from what is uncertain (future maybe), you can make accurate predictions. Seeing what others cannot: the hard trends that are shaping our future, we can deduce the facts we need to build a strategy.
Change from the outside in is typically disruptive. Change from the inside out is purposeful and constructive. This is the change that allows you to direct your future and seize your destiny.
Let us ask:
- What is my ideal future 5, 10, 15 years from now?
- What are the steps I could take to shape that future now?
When you anticipate your future challenges and opportunities, you can redefine you’re your business to capitalize on the hard trends you see unfolding, enter new markets, and become a leader. Remember that change is going to happen whether you want it to or not, anticipate and get ready.
Changing means introducing some variation of what you to some degree. This no longer enough, we need to transform. This means doing something utterly and radically different.
So, we ask:
- Using hard trends, how can we expect our business to transform in the next few years?”
- How can we give our current and future customers the ability to do what they cannot do but would want?
These answers will help to build strategies to transform how your business will sell, market, communicate, collaborate, and innovate.
4. Take your biggest problem and skip it (it is not the real problem)
Whatever the current problem is, skip it. It is not your problem. The real problem lies hidden behind the distraction of what you think the problem is.
If you hold the problem up and look at it from different angles, you may find that it is not your true problem. Rather than trying to solve it, you may better off by skipping it entirely.
5. Go opposite (look to see what no one else is seeing and react accordingly)
When searching for the real problem you want to address note where everyone else is looking and look in the opposite direction.
- What is the current way of thinking regarding any subject in my industry?
- Then think the opposite to see new opportunities.
6. Redefine and reinvent (leverage in new ways)
You can depend in transformation. This means you cannot keep doing what you have always done, even if you keep doing it better. The only way to survive, let alone thrive, is to continuously reinvent and redefine, everything!
Remember, stability and change used to be contrasting states: when you achieved stability, you did so despite change. The new reality is that change itself has become an integral part of stability. You can achieve stability only by embracing change as a continuous and permanent state.
- Forget competing; instead, leapfrog the competition by redefining anything and everything about your business.
- Look for creative ways to make the mundane exceptional and transform the normal into the extraordinary.
7. Direct your future (or someone else will do for you)
Your vision of the future is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Change your view of the future, and you direct your future.
It starts by:
- Seeing the certainty of hard trends,
- Learning how to anticipate accurately.
- Understanding that soft trends as factors that you can influence to shape a better future.
However, it is not enough to see hard trends and soft trends, anticipate, transform, go opposite, skip your biggest problems, and reinvent yourself. These are all valuable and vital steps, but most importantly, you need to actively shape your own future.
Directing your future is the exercise of your creative capacity to envision and rewrite your future. The ability to project your business into the future and then look back at your present position from the future’s point of view is vital. This picture of your future puts a tremendously powerful strategic tool in your hands. It gives you the controls of your own future. It determines which actions you will take, and which you will avoid taking.
Chart Your Course
Futurists work with you to generate accurate insight about the future. We use these seven triggers to help our clients to chart their course and run a successful business. We believe that these triggers are the key to successful innovation. By committing to these principles, you will keep your company and yourself ahead of the curve and navigate a path for your business before the rest of the world catches up.