17 February 2014:

Essential insights from the Future Screening research project have been published in the reputable Elsevier journal “Technological Forecasting & Social Change”.

Researchers and practitioners agree that foresight (the ability to foresee how the future might unfold) is an important strategic capability and critical for effective long-term planning, however, few have systematically interrogated its practice.

The Future Screening research advances knowledge on the practice of foresight in long-term planning through a comparative analysis of planning approaches in two organisations linked through common ownership. Data generated from planning documentation and the foresight practice of strategy personnel in the two cases provided support for a dynamic model of foresight integrated long-term planning.

The practice of foresight in long-term planning

Figure 1: Future Screening Research Framework (Peter, Marc K. & Jarratt, Denise G. 2013)

The ongoing collection and synthesis of strong and weak signals, and their continual assimilation into scenarios depicting alternative futures was structurally supported by a community-of-practice. The community-of-practice widely engaged strategists located across organisational levels in conversations about emerging futures and about strategies through which to engage those futures.

The findings encourage managers and researchers to view long-term planning as an ongoing interrogation of implemented and envisioned strategies within emerging, alternative futures. Such an approach stimulates strategic entrepreneurship and prepares the organisation for engaging in future environments.

Peter, Marc K.; Jarratt, Denise G. 2013, “The practice of foresight in long-term planning”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, accepted 2 December 2013, in press, corrected proof.

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