Leadership often involves making decisions in the face of insufficient information. This is especially true when it comes to enabling the pursuit of innovation. Doing nothing until the situation clarifies itself is in itself a decision. But, by the time the situation is clear the real opportunity has passed. As Will Rodgers once said “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Today’s leaders cannot afford to wait and get run over. They must be prepared to take reasonable risk and to make difficult decisions before all the supporting data exists. Again, this is particularly true if management wants to be a market leader, with innovations that keep them ahead of their competitors. These can be content innovations, like new products & new services, or process innovations, like improved operating models, or business model innovations, all of which change the game. Developing an innovative organization requires a gut-level view of how the future will unfold and what must be done to be relevant and to win in that future. That’s where Future Pull comes in.
Future Pull is a 7-step strategy program that helps executives and their management teams create a proprietary vision of the future and identify strategic areas of opportunity, with innovation initiatives that will increase the odds that the company will thrive in an uncertain future. The foundation of Future Pull is a process of scenario planning.
Scenario planning in business is not about predicting the future. It is about defining possibilities. This creates a higher level of sensitivity to the marketplace, its driving forces and early warning signals that help leaders envision alternative strategies. This helps them pre-determine clues for recognizing
market changes as they begin to unfold, which helps them make quicker, more effective decisions in the face of changing realities. The value is not in whether the scenarios are accurate. The value is in the strategic thinking, consideration of possibilities, and the ability to adjust quickly that the process enables.