Whose looking out for your company into the future? Is it you? The distant future is not really so far away. Are you the catalyst for the changes that are unfolding in your company and business? Are they prepared for those developments?
Your job as a corporate futurist is not to create reality out of a story but to craft a story that your company can turn into reality for the future. It is a daunting task indeed to communicate your vision of where the company needs to go, to build the future and improve it.
Use your imagination to look at the future and determine where the world and your company will be five to ten years from now. Visualize where your customers will be and what will be happening to the world’s employee population.
As the company futurist, the scope of your study will need to be broadened beyond HR. Besides paying attention to trends, include areas and statistics that are relevant to your industry and workforce.
An essential requirement for every company and which they need to fill is the role of a corporate futurist. Futurists are people who explore predictions and possibilities about the future based on current trends. It is the job of the futurist to think further out and map out possible future strategies for action and to warn senior leadership of future rocky scenarios.
Steering the ship towards the future, to map strategies and then take that direction, some may say, is the CEO’s job, exploring the possibilities and mapping out the company’s strategy is well within the CEO’s realm of duties, but, very few in leadership really think beyond a few quarters. This is where the role of the corporate futurist is crucial to convince senior leadership to innovate and shift from short-term mode thinking.
Are futurists really necessary? So, why do established companies who have survived so long, such as P&G, Intel, Ford, General Motors brought futurists into the mainstream?
Companies are having a hard time in launching new products to catch the attention of the new-age consumer. As consumer expectations and demand for new and innovative products are increasing, competition in the marketplace has reached the level where conceptualization and new product development is crucial to a company’s brand attraction. To become better and better in the marketplace is the need of the hour to stay alive.
This is the futurist’s role in the company to observe and predict, to research trends, to map out future scenarios of the market and the competition, to study how things are changing and of ways to move the company into the future. Those who can look well beyond their own industries to understand how economic, social and technological forces will shape consumer demand and impact their businesses will be the most successful.
Since the focus of the futurist is not in the short-term, they are free to think outside the box and provide insight and guidance, as well as the upcoming challenges for the company in the future. Without a corporate futurist, the company will not be as fully informed of the possible challenges which may be coming their way.
Trained futurists will have a lot to offer in the future. From providing insights into how customers and industries will evolve, corporate futurists will be able to contribute important value that will give businesses an advantage over their competitors and competition.
There will always be pessimists who will reject insights and forecasts into trends which are unfamiliar and argue that the distant is so far away they are irrelevant to their industry or company.
A technique successful corporate futurists apply is identifying mega-trends that will ultimately shape consumer’s future behavior and needs. By using ‘futuring’ as a strategy tool, forward thinking will help businesses to prepare for the big global changes which are already evolving. Turning promising innovations into future trends by taking just a few easy steps, organizations can make sure of being trail-blazers in their industry.
Companies who apply and adapt mega-trends to their businesses and also get actively involved in the ongoing change create the best possible future for their business and their employees.