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Insights to Develop Better “ Look Ahead “

Why is this important ? 
Because – ” It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future “

…. as recognized by many people, including Robert Storm Petersen a century ago

Since this is even more true today, the trends and forces that shape the future need to be identified, scenarios determined, new solutions and value created, etc. – if the goal is to increase relevance and revenue going forward.

Because of unknowns and a few surprises along the way, this triggers the need to evolve current capabilities and develop new competencies, including the innovation mindset, to get past disruption stemming from –

1.  Technology  –  We’re on the verge of unprecedented levels and novel scientific discoveries in the years ahead –  as digital technology evolves as well as the increasing presence of technology in society and established industries  +  FinTech, HealthTech, InsureTech, CleanTech, AgTeck, Smart Buildings, etc.  +  AI, ML, BI, IoT, the Metaverse, etc.  + biotechnology, nanotechnology, neuroscience, materials science, behavioral science, etc.  And with all these possibilities, for those who can “ Innovate for Impact “, there are major opportunities to drive new breakthroughs for better outcomes and new wealth.  For example, synthetic biology, the rise of the metaverse, the increasing expansion into space, new technologies to save the planet, etc. — are all among the places to watch for significant opportunities.

2.  Expanding Stakeholder Capitalism and the need to Successfully Manage the Changing Nature of Risk  –   An unstable business environment, increasing climate change, growing expectations, tensions between countries and cultures, volatile situations, fractured and unhealthy societies etc. – are  increasingly driving organizations to rethink their purpose, their role in society, what it means to create value, what it takes to attract and retain top talent, etc. What economists have long referred to as “ externalities ” will have to be “ internalized “, forcing companies to adopt new tools and practices to manage them, new thinking to be better at innovation, as well as new ways and methodologies to measure value creation and risk.

3.  Changes in Globalization  –  Needs to be reinvented to recognize there has been a lengthy period and a messy patchwork of competing powers , fraying and fluid alliances , increasing conflict , weakening of traditional multilateral institutions , greater regulation and protectionism advantageous to domestic businesses , etc.  And to deal with political leaders “ aspiring for more “, the role and reach of government will probably exceed anything that most Westerners are used to !  Fundamentally when there is a failure to align interests or there isn’t a balance between “self interest“ and those of others – the need is for more enlightened leadership, or globalization as we know it goes away and the potential for conflict increases. Given the downside, hopefully this is an incentive to make good decisions that reflect the best interests of all stakeholders.

4.  The Need to Evolve the Concept of the Enterprise  –   Ronald Coase indicated why large corporations are needed in the 1930s.  With the “ transaction costs ” that drove his analysis have been eroded by digital technology, traditional views of enterprises and industry are becoming less relevant. Because of this and other reasons, dynamic and human-centric ecosystems are emerging with organizations and communities that address fundamental human and societal needs and wants with new capabilities that deliver high value and a great UX that are more effective, personalized, accessible, and sustainable.  For example, industries ripe for disruptive innovation and digital transformation are –

A. Healthcare and Education  –  because they are insufficiently accessible and slow to change
B. Energy and Manufacturing –  because they are currently unsustainable and killing the planet

5.  Changes in the Nature of Power  –  With “ formal power “ being replaced by “ informal power “ there is a switch from hierarchies to networks. That means the most fundament tools of leadership are changing with networked, decentralized, autonomous and collaborative models of power becoming the norm.  While Power is already shifting – much more lies ahead.


Extending on these insights, to make innovation more rewarding, you are encouraged to read the many articles on the CAIL website and in other material.  As well, you are welcome to contact CAIL to accelerate your organization becoming future ready with better – 

A. Look ahead skills
B. Context to improve decision making
C. Leadership and entrepreneurial competencies
D. Business outcomes

April 7, 2022    Deloitte / CAIL Innovation commentary     905-940-9000