January 14th 2020
Future Insight: Responding to Trends, Threats and Opportunities
This discussion paper outlines HR’s role in developing foresight and organisation capabilities around vigilance, future sensing, environment scanning, and agile decision making in the absence of full information.
As the pace of change in the world continues to accelerate, and as the world has become more complex, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict and plan for the future. The capacity of our organisations to forecast with accuracy has become much more limited.
History is littered with organisations which failed to anticipate – or to respond fast enough – to shifts in their market.
Our paper examines:
- The ways in which processes for developing corporate strategy, identifying and testing strategic options need to change, for example through scenario planning and experimentation.
- The dangers of complacency.
- How HR can play a substantial role in developing organisational capabilities for sensing and responding to threats and opportunities.
- The role of leader selection and leadership development in fostering the mindsets, capabilities and practices of leaders, and how leadership behaviours determine how much attention the organisation pays to understanding what’s happening externally.
- HR’s role in developing organisation culture that encourages divergent thinking, is open to the external environment, with leaders prepared to hear uncomfortable messages about what’s really going on.
- Designing an organisation that’s open to outside-in thinking and has effective mechanisms for testing ideas and allowing unfiltered information to reach decision makers.
- HR’s role in developing foresight around key talent and social trends, being alert to external trends that may impact on ability to execute organisational strategy.
Written by Margaret Heffernan, journalist, former CEO and author of Wilful Blindness, and CRF Research Director, Gillian Pillans.
Restricted access - You must be a logged in member to view this
This resource is available to CRF members only. To access, please log in with your username and password. If you are not a member of the CRF network and are interested in membership please contact Richard Hargreaves, Commercial Director, on +44 (0) 20 3457 2640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.