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E-ISSN 2500-2597

Leonid Gokhberg

Gill Ringland  1
  • 1 SAMI Consulting, and Member, The Rectory, 1 Toomers Wharf, Canal Walk, Newbury RG14 1DY

Future as Unexplored Domain: Сonnecting Foresight to the Making Strategic Decisions

2013. Vol. 7. No. 4. P. 60–69 [issue contents]

This paper is based on discussions in the framework of the World Future Studies Federation Conference held in Bucharest, Romania in June 2013. It suggests some reasons that decisions are often made with good backsight and less foresight. We consider the frameworks for organisational strategy adopted by many organisations, the roles of professionals in organisations. There are two distinct archetypes of people in terms of management style and approach to the professional duties — «foxes» and «hedgehogs». The «hedgehogs» make up the majority of employees. They prefer to follow the «proven» patterns enabling the operational activities of the organisation, but are weedy in adopting the changes. The «foxes» in their turn have a flexible mindset, they are suspicious of commitment to any single way of seeing an issue, and are relatively ready to recalibrate their view when unexpected events cast doubt on what they had previously believed to be true. Many futurists display «fox» -like characteristics. We describe the characteristics of an organisation able effectively to harness the potential of both archetypes and take foresight into its strategy.

The paper thus puts forward a framework for connecting foresight to strategic decisions in organisations, using the example of the work being done with the European Commission’s EFFLA (European Forum on Forward Looking Activities). We propose a four-stage strategy cycle process for aligning to the EC’s research and innovation policy cycle. The first two stages, strategic intelligence (horizon scanning) and sense-making, require individual expert contributions and are in focus by EFFLA. In turn, selecting priorities and implementation are up to the policy- and decision-makers. We consider the suggested steps at each stage and the linkages between them. In particular this scheme should allow the EC flexibly to adjust the milestones of the Horizon 2020 framework programme and to outline its successor, Horizon II.

Citation: Ringland G. (2013) Budushchee kak neizvedannoe prostranstvo: integratsiya Forsayta v prinyatie strategicheskikh resheniy [Future as Unexplored Domain: Сonnecting Foresight to the Making Strategic Decisions]. Foresight-Russia, vol. 7, no 4, pp. 60-69 (in Russian)
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