Chapter 9. Visions and Challenges – Priorities for Professionals

Building Better Models and Definitions

As we mentioned in Chapters 1-4, many foresight practitioners define our field too narrowly. Modern foresight has become a much larger and more diverse enterprise than most people realize. We have proposed the UPOG Foresight Tetrad of practice domains (universal, personal, organizational, and global foresight), the three primary foresight types (Three Ps), the four steps of the Do loop, the Eight Skills, and the Twenty Functions (management specialties and their associations) that seem particularly central to our field.

Our Adaptive Foresight and Management model is not perfect. For example, the twenty specialty functions are incomplete. But this model is much broader, more explicit, and better tied to established business practices and value generation than the vast majority of other foresight practice models in the literature.

Having a well-defined and broadly inclusive practice model is surely better than the implicit mental models about foresight that many of us use today. Without sufficiently inclusive definitions, efforts to professionalize and prove the business value of our field will remain underpowered for some time to come.

By seeing and valuing all the facets of modern foresight, assiduously developing your domain, type, skill and functional competencies, and building alliances across the various specialties within our incredibly diverse field, you will maximize your ability to collaborate with others in reaching better futures, across a great variety of personal, organizational, and societal contexts.

As you look at the specialties we have proposed, take steps to correct implicit biases against any that you may have. If you don’t presently see Prediction Markets, Developmental Foresight, Forecasting, Risk Management, Predictive Analytics, Innovation Management, Intelligence, or any of the other domains, skills and functions that we’ve discussed as essential to foresight practice, make an effort to see them in a new light, and incorporate them in an enlarged understanding of our field.

Take steps to counter your bias, and address your narrowness of vision. Read a key book, attend a conference, accept advice from and partner with others in an unfamiliar domain. Broaden your understanding of the great diversity of foresight practice and leadership.

Finally, do your small part to share the best practice models you know, and to improve their definitions.