5 Steps to Brainstorm the Way forward for Your Market

by Conquerer

That is the second weblog publish in HYPE’s sequence on the ten most-often-asked questions on strategic foresight. The primary publish launched the ten questions, and this publish offers steerage, sensible suggestions, and examples on get began with brainstorming the way forward for your market and develop foresight functionality step-by-step.

Brainstorming the way forward for your market is as a lot in regards to the future itself as it’s about constructing foresight functionality – the aptitude to anticipate and plan for the long run. A enterprise functionality, equivalent to foresight functionality, may be understood to encompass processes, touchpoints, actors and their competences and behaviors, governance, knowledge, and instruments and applied sciences. Therefore, foresight functionality is about brainstorming the way forward for companies whereas concurrently growing and using the aptitude to establish traits and interpret their which means with a significant focus, along with clients and companions.

Listed below are the 5 steps to observe to brainstorm the way forward for your market.

1. Outline what ‘way forward for’ you need to find out about and why

What do you need to find out about? What’s “the way forward for” that you’re pondering? How are you planning to make the most of the understanding of your findings? Usually, the long run that we’re serious about is expounded to our enterprise, trade, market, or broader working atmosphere. For instance, an organization within the meals manufacturing market might ponder about the way forward for meals or consuming and subsequently in regards to the adjustments in demographics and values behind shoppers’ meals selections, urbanization, local weather change, regulatory adjustments, and technological developments all through the worth chain.

That understanding might then be utilized from technique creation to all issues associated to execution (e.g., organizational and enterprise mannequin growth). Take the time to play with “the way forward for” options that might scope the brainstorming actions. Completely different scopes will produce an understanding of various depth and breadth for the way forward for your market: for a corporation in meals manufacturing, the way forward for consuming might signify a broader lens than the way forward for meals and may higher establish new enterprise alternatives.

2. Get inquisitive about what may be

Curiosity is the strongest energy and mindset to harness when diving deeper into the recognized scope – deeper into “the way forward for.” The scope shall be your information to establish traits (mega, macro, and micro), phenomena, weak alerts, and uncertainties that might be related for anticipation and planning.

For somebody simply getting began with foresight, there are many options accessible for trend identification and analysis in addition to ready-made interpretations of various traits and phenomena within the type of eventualities. These extra superior in foresight are sometimes themselves development curators, which means that they collect tales and concepts and curate them to outline and validate a development for perception (see, for instance, Rohit Bhargava’s Haystack method to be taught extra about development curation).

“The way forward for” shall be your information to figuring out the breadth of traits and the like. Your enterprise, clients, clients’ clients, suppliers, and companions are the viewpoints by means of which to deliver depth into foresight.

For instance, a equipment provider to pulp and paper firms won’t emphasize the development of sustainability, however taking a look at its clients and the end-users of the merchandise may reveal the rising significance of provide chain transparency and the stress to decrease the CO2 footprint throughout the entire chain – viewpoints which might be finally essential for the product growth selections.

3. Interpret the traits and create different views of your market’s future

Developments, phenomena, weak alerts, and uncertainties may be interpreted individually or in tandem to grasp their nature (e.g., a possibility or a risk) or deliver perception and inspiration to your innovation program. Nevertheless, simply specializing in particular person traits can result in cherry-picking these which might be favorable to our future, or they’ll lead us to type a single-minded view of the long run. Total, to talk of the long run within the singular is misconceiving. As we glance forward, there are at all times a number of futures that we are able to think about and foresee. A development may get weaker and stronger, and traits are recurrently at interaction with each other.

"As we glance forward, there are at all times a number of futures that we are able to think about and foresee."

One of the vital often-used instruments to create different views of the long run is the situation technique. A situation is an outline of a potential future state of affairs that develops from a sequence of actions or drivers. By rigorously choosing drivers (e.g., traits) which have relevance and which means to the enterprise in addition to altering their magnitude, completely different eventualities begin to unfold.

For instance, an organization working within the constructed atmosphere sector fashioned eventualities primarily based on three key drivers: urbanization, local weather change, and technological growth. By altering the magnitude of those drivers, we created six eventualities that represented different views of what the long run might be (e.g., urbanization: inhabitants concentrated in a number of megalopolises; local weather change: local weather change has stopped; technological growth: speedy growth). The corporate used these eventualities to establish what sort of market wants (buyer industries and geographies) may come up, what the potential options might be, and so forth.

4. Brainstorm the way forward for your market along with clients and companions

Speaking in regards to the future – interpretations of traits or different views of the long run – with actors exterior of your group helps in testing and enriching the interpretations and created eventualities. You may invite clients, clients’ clients, non-customers, suppliers, suppliers’ suppliers, and companions to take part within the discussions in regards to the future. All gamers in your worth chain or ecosystem can deliver further viewpoints to how they see traits and eventualities develop, market wants come up, and the enterprise potential of potential options.

Essentially the most worthwhile discussions have taken place in workshops the place clients and companions from completely different industries and markets have had the chance to familiarize themselves with the interpretations and situation descriptions beforehand with the express project to return and enrich and problem the views of the way forward for the market.

5. Develop foresight as a functionality

As talked about earlier, getting began with gaining extra understanding in regards to the future is as a lot about exploring the long run as it’s about constructing the aptitude to anticipate and plan for the long run. Therefore, as an alternative of taking a look at foresight as one-off actions, foresight must be understood as a functionality to be developed and utilized systematically.

All enterprise capabilities – foresight functionality included – encompass processes, touchpoints, governance, obligations and competences, knowledge, instruments and applied sciences. To develop a functionality is to develop its constructing blocks.

The sections above have supplied some examples of what the constructing blocks of foresight functionality might appear to be. The desk under gives a blueprint for the event of foresight functionality. 


The foresight course of consists of figuring out traits, phenomena, weak alerts, and uncertainties, adopted by deciphering their which means and relevance to supply strategic perception.

The foresight course of and the perception produced feeds into technique creation, enterprise alternative identification, innovation administration, folks, and competence growth, to call a number of.


The foresight course of has touchpoints with all different processes that must do with long-term planning and/or supporting the group in growing its aggressive benefit.

The method has each inner and exterior touchpoints, which means that anticipation and planning happen throughout the group in addition to with clients and companions.


Foresight has its administration mannequin (roles and obligations, incentives, boards, and many others.), in addition to it’s built-in into the group’s general administration mannequin.

Defining roles, obligations, and incentives associated to foresight helps guarantee sufficient consideration is devoted to foresight. Foresight can have devoted positions (e.g., director of technique, perception supervisor), or obligations may be divided into practical roles (e.g., head of HR, head of product growth).

Organizations should focus on and debate foresight throughout completely different boards to feed into processes that must do with long-term planning.

Actors, obligations, and competences

Internally, foresight can have devoted roles or obligations divided into practical roles. Externally, clients, suppliers, companions, and many others., must be concerned within the foresight course of.

For inner roles (devoted or practical roles), competences must be outlined as for every other function. They’ll encompass competences associated to the foresight course of (e.g., facilitation abilities), foresight strategies and instruments (e.g., the situation technique), enterprise acumen to translate traits to enterprise wants and potential options, and interpersonal abilities and affect, to call a number of.

Information and applied sciences

Identification of traits, phenomena, weak alerts, and uncertainties:

Interpretation of the which means and relevance of traits, phenomena, weak alerts and uncertainties, e.g., situation evaluation.

How do you see your foresight functionality and the maturity of it in gentle of the blueprint? Tell us within the feedback under!

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