Apply Strategic Foresight to Enable IT-Led Growth

Be the disruptor, not the disrupted.

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Your Challenge

  • To be recognized and validated as a forward-thinking CIO, you must establish a structured approach to innovation that considers external trends as well as internal processes.
  • The CEO is expecting an investment in IT innovation to yield either cost reduction or revenue growth, but growth cannot happen without opportunity identification.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Technological innovation is disrupting business models – and it’s happening faster than organizations can react.
  • Smaller, more agile organizations have an advantage because they have less resources tied to existing operations and can move faster. 

Impact and Result

  • Be the disruptor, not the disrupted. This blueprint will help you plan proactively and identify opportunities before your competitors.
  • Strategic foresight gives you the tools you need to effectively process the signals in your environment, build an understanding of relevant trends, and turn this understanding into action.

Contributors

  • Valerie Fox, Chief Innovation Consultant, The Pivotal Point & Co-Founder, DMZ at Ryerson University
  • Jerry Koh, Manager, Solutions Lab at MaRS Discovery District
  • Paul Pochon, CIO & SVP IT (former), Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate, Splunk
  • Susan Doniz, Founder & President, MAS & former CIO at AIMIA
  • Emma Antunes, Special Advisor to the CIO, NASA
  • Ivan Winfield, CIO at Seaboard Corporation
  • Alex Coleman, CIO at Saskatchewan Worker’s Compensation Board
  • Karl Schroeder, Chair, The Millennium Project (Canada) & Foresight Studies Consultant, Narrative Futures
  • Deborah Henderson, Worldwide Program Director at DAMA-DMBOK

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out how to effectively apply strategic foresight, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

  1. Signal gathering

    Develop a better understanding of your external environment and build a database of signals.

  2. Trends and drivers

    Select and analyze trends to uncover drivers.

  3. Scenario building

    Use trends and drivers to build plausible scenarios and brainstorm strategic initiatives.

  4. Idea selection

    Apply the wind tunneling technique to assess strategic initiatives and determine which are most likely to succeed in the face of uncertainty.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Signal gathering

  • Call #1: Signal sources and gathering strategies.

  • Call #2: Building and maintaining a useful signal repository.

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Trends and drivers

  • Call #1: Clustering signals into trends and selecting a key trend.

  • Call #2: Performing causal analysis, uncovering and selecting drivers.

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Scenario building

  • Call #1: Building a canvas for ideation.

  • Call #2: Ideating for specific scenarios.

  • Guided Implementation #4 - Idea selection

  • Call #1: Applying wind tunneling best practices.

  • Call #2: Selecting an idea and moving to prototyping.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Pre-workshop – Gather Signals and Build a Repository

The Purpose

  • Gather relevant signals that will inform your organization about what is happening in the external competitive environment.

Note: this is preparation for the workshop and is not offered onsite.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A better understanding of the competitive landscape.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Gather relevant signals.
1.2 Store signals in a repository for quick and easy recall during the workshop.
  • A set of signal items ready for analysis

Module 2: Identify Trends and Uncover Drivers

The Purpose

  • Uncover trends in your environment and assess their potential impact.
  • Determine the causal forces behind relevant trends to inform strategic decisions.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of the underlying causal forces that are influencing a trend that is affecting your organization.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Cluster signals into trends.
2.2 Analyze trend impact and select a key trend.
  • A collection of relevant trends with a key trend selected
2.3 Perform causal analysis.
2.4 Select drivers.
  • A set of drivers influencing the key trend with primary drivers selected

Module 3: Build Scenarios and Ideate

The Purpose

  • Leverage your understanding of trends and drivers to build plausible scenarios and apply them as a canvas for ideation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A set of potential responses or reactions to trends that are affecting your organization.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Build scenarios.
  • Four plausible scenarios for ideation purposes
3.2 Brainstorm potential strategic initiatives (ideation).
  • A potential strategic initiative that addresses each scenario

Module 4: Apply Wind Tunneling and Select Ideas

The Purpose

  • Assess the various ideas based on which are most likely to succeed in the face of uncertainty.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An idea that you have tested in terms of risk and uncertainty.
  • An idea that can be developed and pitched to the business or stored for later use. 

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Assign probabilities to scenarios.
4.2 Apply wind tunneling.
4.3 Select ideas.
4.4 Discuss next steps and prototyping.
  • A strategic initiative (idea) that is ready to move into prototyping

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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