Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

II. Category Models

We’ll now look at some helpful models which propose key categories for foresight thinking and action.

In this Guide, the category models of Evolution and Development and the Three Ps of Foresight the next two sections in this chapter, and the decision cycle models of the Do loop and the Eight Skills of Adaptive Foresight covered in later sections are the models we propose offer the greatest value to most foresight practitioners in most client contexts. We don’t break them out here from the other models, and we offer little evidence at present for their presumably special status, only a hypothesis in need of future testing. You will have to decide if you find them particularly helpful or clarifying relative to all the other valuable models we’ll cover in this chapter.

For an excellent free course on models, one that understands the importance of evolutionary diversity, let me recommend Scott Page’s Model Thinking course (4-8 hrs/week x 12 weeks) on Coursera. Page is professor of complex systems, political science, and economics at U. Michigan, and the author of some fantastic books, including The Difference (2008), which explains why having cognitive and skills diversity on your core team, or at least in your advisory network, is key to solving hard, poorly-structured problems. Strategic foresight is almost always in this class of problem.

Again, we hope these models and recipes inspire you to find, adapt, build, and share your own in your foresight work.

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