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Strategy is an intrinsically human task. Setting successful strategies is based on our ability to think effectively, both individually and collectively, about extraordinarily complex domains. In a recent keynote I did for clients of New Scientist magazine on Science and Leadership for the Future, I discussed how executives can think effectively about strategy. The following

Continue reading Building richer mental models is the heart of strategy – the role of scenario planning

Report: The Future of Back-to-School

I am currently in Toronto to launch a report commissioned by Visa Canada on The Future of Back-to-School. As noted in the announcement of the report: In a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Visa Canada, 52 per cent of Canadian parents with children aged 5-16 found back-to-school preparations to be stressful

Continue reading Report: The Future of Back-to-School

PewResearch Internet Project has just released a report on Digital Life in 2025 based on expert interviews. One of the interesting aspects of the report is the ‘theses‘ that they have distilled from the interviews, which they have divided into ‘more-hopeful and ‘less-hopeful’, concluding with one very important piece advice. These are:

Today’s BOSS magazine in the Australian Financial Review includes a feature on my work. The article focuses on my thoughts on the value of predictions. I’ve written before about why predictions usually have negative value, as an important way of framing how we think about the future. I am quoted in the article:

Exploring the future of investment management

Last week I was in Amsterdam for the International User Community Meeting of SimCorp, a leading provider of software for the investment management industry. I gave the keynote on the Future of Investment Management and ran a half-day Executive Master Class on Creating the Successful Organisation of the Future. Prior to founding Advanced Human Technologies

Continue reading Exploring the future of investment management

A few days ago I spoke at the opening dinner of a strategy offsite for a professional firm, on the topic of ‘Thinking About The Future‘. It is a very common style of engagement for me, being briefed to set the broadest possible mental frame for executives before their in-depth discussions on directions for the

Continue reading Thinking about the future: Why predictions usually (but not always) have negative value

Scenario planning as a management discipline has a long and rich pedigree. It is just one of a wide variety of tools and processes that have been developed to help executives and organizations build strategies and succeed in an uncertain world. However almost 15 years experience in applying a wide variety of strategic futures tools

Continue reading Scenario Planning in Action: What, Why, Success Factors, and Process

12 Themes for 2012: what we can expect in the year ahead

Towards the end of each year I share some thoughts on what awaits in the year ahead. It is actually a lot easier to look years into the future than just a single year, as while we can readily discern broad trends, the major events in a year are usually unforeseeable, though they may express

Continue reading 12 Themes for 2012: what we can expect in the year ahead

I caught up with fellow futurist Kristin Alford last week, yet another first time face-to-face meeting after a long time interacting online. It seems most of the people I meet these days are people I know from Twitter. Kristin pointed me to some of what her company Bridge8 is doing in creating animated videos about

Continue reading Animated excursions into the future: the extraordinary implications of utility fog

Back in the late 1990s I did considerable work applying scenario planning to financial risk management, using qualitative approaches to managing risk as a complement to quantitative methodologies such as Value at Risk. However financial institutions were generally very slow to acknowledge the value of anything not fully quantified, so I shifted my attention to

Continue reading Applying scenario planning to portfolio and financial risk: 6 steps to better risk management

I recently gave a presentation at an offsite meeting of the leadership team of a global professional services firm. I was asked to speak about the future of business, and to be provocative, which is usually my objective in that kind of situation – it’s not very valuable if you can’t get people to think

Continue reading Why high performance organizations will thrive on uncertainty and lack of control

I am writing this in the air over the Rockies, flying back from a scenario planning workshop I ran for a client yesterday. Over the last dozen years that I have been running scenario planning projects I have observed that corporate interest in scenario planning is cyclical. The time horizons that executives think in tend

Continue reading 4 reasons why an increased pace of change means greater unpredictability


About the Blog author

Ross Dawson Photo

Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. (click on the links for free chapter downloads). He is primarily based in Sydney with a secondary base in San Francisco.

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