A post from Outthinker outlines a strategic planning method for being able to “see around the corner.” The base idea is that changes in language (how we describe things) changes along with the possibilities presented by new innovations (“ …what limits the progress of innovations are not the new innovations themselves but the concepts that people use to discuss them“).
Outthinker outlines a five step process for seeing around the corner:
1. List trends: Make a list of the top 10 trends that experts in your industry believe will shape the future.
2. Identify emerging winning concepts in your industry: Make two lists – one with the five best-performing companies in your industry and one with the five worst-performing. Read whatever you can find written about how they describe their strategy (e.g., annual reports, public filings, websites). And look for differences in the way the best-performing companies speak about their strategy and the way the worst-performing companies do. What concepts are being used by the winners but being overlooked by the losers?
3. Identify emerging concepts in related industries: Conduct the same exercise (Step 2) with one or two industries that are related to yours. Perhaps suppliers or distributors. Successful new concepts emerging in those industries are likely to soon affect yours.
4. Combine: Step back and look at the trends and new concepts, lay them over each other and see what future emerges.
5. Prepare: Ask yourself, “What should we do today to prepare for this future?”
Read more: How to See Around the Corner (February 2016)