Chapter 12. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice

Survey Topics and Questions

Here are the five topic areas and twenty questions we used to garner our responses. Early surveys offered only ten of these twenty questions. We asked leaders to respond to any questions that seemed personally relevant, and potentially valuable to readers, and to skip questions as they preferred. Respondents were encouraged to answer in their own tone and voice, as formally or as informally as they wished.

Responses were then edited for concision, with minor changes to grammar or expression, and sentences occasionally moved to other topic areas when editors felt it helped with readability. In later surveys, respondents were asked to keep responses to no more than four paragraphs or 400 words per topic area.

IHistory and Current Career Path.

  1. Could you tell us how you got your start in the field?
  2. What drew you to foresight work?
  3. What challenges have you faced in building your career, and where you are now?
  4. How do you think things are different today?
  5. Have you made changes in your foresight career path?
  6. Were they voluntary or involuntary?

IIKey Foresight Skills.

  1. What are some key skills and expertise you personally consider part of foresight work?
  2. How would you briefly describe it to others?
  3. What are the top things a good foresight practitioner needs to know?
  4. Qualities they should have?
  5. What work do you do that you consider foresight work that other professionals may not?
  6. How do you sell the value of such work to your clients?

III. Self-Description and Marketing.

  1. How do you self describe and market yourself in the field?
  2. Does the title Futurist accurately describe your field of expertise, or do you use different terminology (foresight professional, strategist, forecaster, trend analyst, etc.)?
  3. What have you done to build your personal and/or organizational brand, and market or promote the foresight work you do?

IVNontraditional Foresight and Continuing Education.

  1. Are there any nontraditional, under-recognized, or emerging foresight skills that you recommend?
  2. Besides APF, WFS, WFSF, and FERN, what less obvious communities and continuing education do you participate in and recommend to stay current on your foresight skills?
  3. How do you keep up with advances or changes in the field?

VParting Advice.

  1. Is there any other advice or insights you can pass on to a foresight student or new entrant to the field who is just starting their career?
  2. Any advice for more experienced practitioners looking to improve their foresight practice?

Would you like to see different wording in any of these questions? Are there other questions we should ask? If so, which should we eliminate? Our survey will stay capped at twenty questions. Are there other foresight leaders you’d like to see in future surveys? Let us know, thanks!

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