Strategic Foresight Readiness Assessment


One quick Google search is all it takes to find a cornucopia of advice on how to prepare for unexpected future events, whether a hurricane, a cybersecurity breach or an upswing in millennial consumers.

But there is no magic google answer for how an organization can prepare for the future competitive environment. That future is too complex and contingent to be predictable. For that, smart organizations turn to robust activities such as Strategic Foresight and the creation of a new Strategic Narrative. These activities produce options, innovations and new frameworks, rather than cookie-cutter instructions.

As an organizational leader, you may be keenly aware of the long term value of such activities, and sense that they could supercharge decision making in a fruitful way. But that doesn’t mean that all the stakeholders you will need to work with you are as ready to you are.

If you are contemplating a strategic foresight or strategic narrative engagement, I invite you to begin with this assessment to better gauge which elements need to be in place to get the strongest return on your investment.

Just one brief note before you dive in: I created this assessment based on my own experiences in leadership roles and as a facilitator and consultant.

Developing new visions of the future and new narratives is a demanding task—not because it requires heavy number crunching, or lots of hours at a desk—but because it asks people to leave behind their usual way of thinking. Instead, they need to exercise imagination, and accept that empirical data about the future is a guide, not a prediction. This makes heavy demands on our professional egos and is difficult and humbling to do. Making sure that everyone on the team is ready for the brave task is a critical measure of the potential success of your investment.

But watch out: when stakeholders are truly ready to delve into the uncertainties of the future, the synergy and strategy that results can be spectacular.

For each statement, mark the answer that best represents your level of agreement.