Chapter 12. Visions and Challenges – Priorities for Professionals

V. Reaching for Better Foresight with Our Clients

When we see where foresight practice is headed, we can start incorporating its emerging qualities into our practice. Sometimes we can educate our clients on the value of a more digital, data-rich, probabilistic, collaborative, open, global, scientific, acceleration, and evo devo aware approach to their personal or organizational strategy, plans, and actions. At other times, we can gently guide them in those directions without their fully understanding our motives. Though we have a duty to be transparent in our goals, there are times when that duty is deferred, and our clients do not have a duty to listen. People often hear what they want to hear.

If Big Foresight is the future of practice, we can “skate to where the puck is going to be”, to quote hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. We don’t want to skate too far ahead, or we won’t be understood or accepted. Timing is critical, and people can only internalize so much marginal change from where they presently are. But we want to know where things are going next, and to help our clients to know as well, as they are able.

Having the courage to make daily mistakes is one of the keys to learning, as any child implicitly knows, and too many adults forget. The oldest and surest form of learning is called trial and error, so get out there and start making errors and try to keep them small. As my mother liked to say, if you don’t make at least one good mistake every day, you haven’t really risked anything. So you’d better up your game and start a few more experiments!

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