Chapter 6. Methods and Frameworks – Building Adaptive Foresight Skills

4. Strategy (Adaptive thinking)

Key Practice Specialties and Communities for Adaptive Foresight 


Key Strategy-Associated Practitioner Methods

Action Research
A problem-oriented process of simultaneous planning, action, and fact-finding research.

Envisioning a desired state and working backwards to propose the critical steps necessary to achieve it.

Quantitative comparisons of a firm, industry, or region’s activities or performance with others.

Benefit/Cost Analysis
Calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project, decision, policy or plan of action.

Business Cycle Planning
Using boom/bust business cycles to optimize decisions. See Well-Timed Strategy, Navarro.

Contingency Planning/Options Planning
Generating plans for outcomes and options other than the usual (expected, surprise-free) plan.

Decision Modeling and Operations Research/Management Science
Bayesian & other statistical tools to optimize decision forecasts. Real Options Analysis is a top example.

Decision Support System
IT system that aids managerial decision-making, including less-well-structured, underspecified problems.

Emergent Strategy
Planning that is 95% bottom-up (local), and a critical 5% top-down. See Out of Control, Kelly, 1994.

Emerging Issues Analysis
Analysis of weak signals (emerging issues) currently growing in strength. Used in law & elsewhere.

Four-Factor Strategy
Four-factor model with six strategist types (operators, execs, admins, entreps, pioneers, visionaries).

Five Forces Analysis
Michael Porter’s framework for industry analysis and business strategy development.

Historical Analysis and Cliometrics
Historical research of past events and data to better understand or predict the current environment.

Industry and Product Roadmapping
Expert collaboration to plan science, tech., and policy actions for industry and product development.

Long-Range Planning
Using long-range forecasts and alternative futuring to construct multiyear plans.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
Largely bottom-up goalsetting method, pioneered by Intel in the 1970s. Refined by Google and others.

Scenario Planning and Learning
Competing scenarios developed around important future uncertainties, used for learning & planning.

S.M.A.R.T. Goalsetting
Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-constrained objective-setting criteria.

Strategic Management
Planning, executing, and assessing company activities to achieve, and maintain competitive advantage.

Strategic Thinking
Systematic thinking to generate actionable options, plans and competitive advantage.

Strategic Planning
Determining and coordinating actions and resource allocations in service of goals.

SWOT Analysis
Assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats in a given situation or environment.

Technology Readiness Analysis
Identifying and evaluating critical science and tech. regulating the development of a product or market.

Visioning (Normative Forecasting)
Leader or group creates preferable future visions (aspirational forecasts). Can be made quantitative.

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