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Corporate Foresight in Europe: Ready for the Next Step? Cornelia Daheim 2nd Int. Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts.

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Presentation on theme: "Corporate Foresight in Europe: Ready for the Next Step? Cornelia Daheim 2nd Int. Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Corporate Foresight in Europe: Ready for the Next Step? Cornelia Daheim 2nd Int. Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts on policy and decision making, 28th- 29th September 2006

2 2 CF in Europe - results from a recent survey Foresight Experience and Aims Activities / Methods Organizational Forms Understanding and Relevance Success Factors & Barriers CF - The Next Phase Conclusions Issues

3 3 Defining Corporate Foresight Our understanding of CF: Foresight for and in corporations is a multi-layered communication process a systematic, continuous approach based on a tested range of methods centres around medium to long-term oriented work on strategies, innovation and vision a participatory process that makes businesses capable of making strategic decisions early

4 4 The study: Strategic Foresight in Companies, 2005 to 2006 Adrian Müller, University of St. Gallen ( in cooperation with Z_punkt Results to be published this year Key Questions: How are Foresight processes designed and implemented? What is the best approach to integrating them into corporate strategic decision- making processes? What are the critical factors of success? What is currently considered state of the art? CF in Europe - The Survey

5 5 3 criteria for selecting respondents: Large businesses with a turnover of at least 150 ml EUR annually Headquarters in Europe Have corporate strategic foresight process Respondents: 152 contacted, 40 countable replies 9 countries (Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Liechtenstein) 13 different industries (Automotive, Chemicals, Construction; Consumer goods; Electronics; Engineering; Financial Services; Appliances; Oil / gas; Pharma; Commerce; IT / Telecom.; Power Supply; Others = includes media, tourism, consulting, precision engineering, logistics) CF Survey - Background Data

6 6 CF is mostly continuous: 8%: Foresight process running for more than 30 years 50%: 10 years or more (median 10 years) 25%: 3 or less years Aims: Strategy, Innovation, Early Warning 88%:Support for strategic decision-making in general 77%: Improving long-term planning 65%: Enabling early warning / issue management 58%: Improvement of innovation process Less important: soft objectives 43%: Fostering future-oriented thinking and culture 30%: Generation of visions and normative empowerment CF Survey - Foresight Experience + Aims

7 7 CF – 4 Types of Organ. Forms Typology from Becker 2002, with additions by Z_punkt The Collecting Post -on the side - individuals - collecting existing information - low visibility The Think Tank - many addressees + tasks - wide internal + external network - wider perspective The Observatory - specialised task f.e. forecasting future traffic - single addressee - well networked internally Level of Connectedness + Scope of Tasks Size separate units, full-time staff generating new own outputs The Outsourcer - changing project team, but high continuity - Experts in drawing info inside - Internal interpretation - High visibility Survey: 52% work with foresight department / unit 10% individual person

8 8 Regular application of foresight methods (sometimes in brackets; n=40): 26 (8): Trend analysis 26 (9): Media / Publication analysis 19 (16):Scenarios 12 (17):Roadmapping 11 (23):Participatory / Creative Methods 5 (10):Simulations 5 (5):Delphi Trend analysis dominant, also in terms of activities focus on gathering data and information! Scenarios also rather popular Less use of Delphi than in public sector CF Survey - Activities / Methods

9 9 Critical success factors: High importance: quality and strategic relevance of results (ease of understanding, practicability, measurability of successes, plurality and soundness of options), participation and communication Secondary importance: Process input (data and information quality) and efficiency, methods, resources Barriers: Organizational / political Insufficient legitimation High costs CF Survey - Success Factors & Barriers

10 10 Understanding of CF changing, but still more on the instrumental side: 50%:environmental information gathering process 20%:reflection and knowledge generation process 15%: normative vision-building process Relevance growing in the last 5 years 70%: in their own company 60%: in business in general but: lower increase in scope and appreciation 55%: more appreciation in their company 37,5%:more appreciated in general CF Survey - Understanding & Relevance

11 11 Legitimation problems remain Challenges: Lack of organizational roots Spokesperson / lobby dependence Lack of evaluation / lack of clarity about use and impacts Only a third control performance Only a third regularly overhaul and improve CF process Critical success factors - besides obvious (quality and strat. relevance of results) all soft factors: Participation Communication Culture Commitment Reactive perspective: focus on trend analysis, scanning etc. Lack of creative and sense-making approaches CF - Challenges

12 12 Corporate Foresight Dominant Logics / Paradigms Assumption: The future can be calculated by appropriate computer models based on huge amounts of data and mathematical finesse. Assumption: The future can be foreseen by collecting and comparing the opinions of (numerous) experts. Assumption: Businesses can understand the future by anticipating the impact of trends on customers and markets. Assumption: Businesses can shape future contexts and markets by anticipating the dynamic interaction between social, techn. & economic forces Expert-based Foresight Model-based Foresight Trend-based Foresight Context-based (Open) Foresight

13 13 Characteristics Corporate Foresight Waves Dominant CF-Paradigm Expert-based Foresight Model-based Foresight Trend-based Foresight Context-based Open Foresight AssumptionKnowability by Expertise Calculability by Models Projectability by Developments Shapability by Interaction Key Characteristics Belief in Experts dominant, but: 70s: Turn to the qualitative and wider environment First Opening towards soft sciences Scenarios Quantitative and subjective models Extrapolation Systems Dominated by hard science Trends Weak Signals Early Warning Mix of qualitative and quantitative Indicators Integrating soft and hard approaches Understanding & interpreting / evaluating change Opening up: Participation, interaction & process Action- and innovation- oriented More attention on discontinuities PerspectiveExploring ChangeCalculating ChangeReacting to ChangeUnderstanding & Anticipating / Shaping Change OutputDelphis, Roadmaps, Scenarios Models & MatrixesTrend-databases Monitoring Systems Scenarios; Wild Cards; Action Plans & Innovation Ideas

14 14 CF in Europe Conclusions CF in Europe by now rather widespread and established within large companies Constant high internal justification-pressure Usual problems remain unsolved Conclusions on key factors for success - meant as making an impact: Involvement of top management Explicit aims and targets, performance control Evaluation and regular overhaul of process = continuity Participation More stress on understanding change, deciding about action (= integration into decision-making, not merely its preparation!), less stress on data, content, projections etc. Proactive instead of reactive perspective Process competence: being able to deal with recurring old logics Attention to importance of networking, community building, marketing CF, spokespersons The Next Phase: Towards Open Foresight: More permeability of content Firmer integration into decision-making Less trend hypes, more stress on process and sense-making, more evaluation and differentiation (methods, aims, outcomes)

15 15 Thanks for your attention! More information + newsletter:

16 16 Corporate Foresight Think Tank founded in 1997 located in Berlin, Essen and Karlsruhe staff of about 20 employees Foresight-Services for Strategic Management and Innovation: From Trend Monitoring to Scenario Processes Content Provider for Strategic Future Knowledge: Context, Consumers, Sectors, Technologies External Think Tank for Challenging Creative Processes Partner for Systematic Implementation of Corporate Foresight in Entrepreneurial Practices

17 17 Customers

18 18 North America USA Finland Futures Academy Finland Futures Research Center, Dr. Juha Kaskinen, Director (University) Nucleo de Estudos de Futuro (NEF) The Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC SP) University and NGO Prof. Arnoldo José de Hoyos Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Think Tank, private sector (Global Research Alliance), Pretoria Dr. Reinie Biesenbach, Centre Manager The Arlington Institute Non-profit research institute about global change John L. Petersen, President Europe Finland Asia China Latin America Brazil Africa South Africa Chinese Academy of Sciences Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences Prof. Ph.D Rusong Wang Coordinator Z_punkt GmbH The Foresight Company IFG Founder and Coordinator International Foresight Group (IFG)

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