Chapter 5. Career Options - Great Ways to Be a Foresight Leader

Twenty-Six Global Industry Groups Needing Better Foresight

Aerospace, Automobiles and Components
Banking and Credit
Capital Goods (B2B Construction and Infrastructure)
Commercial and Professional Services
Consumer Staples (Non-Food) and Apparel
Consumer Discretionary Products & Services (B2C)
Defense and Security (Public and Private)
Educational Services (Public and Private)
Energy (Fossil Fuels and Renewables)
Financial Services (Non-Bank)
Food, Beverage, and Farming
Government Administration (Public and Private)
Hardware and Equipment (IT)

Health Care Equipment & Services (Public & Private)
Hospitality, Restaurant, Travel and Leisure
Industrial Products (B2B)
Insurance (Health, Life, Prop, Casualty, etc.)
Materials (Chemicals, Metals, Mining, etc.)
Media and Entertainment
Pharmaceuticals and Biotech
Real Estate and B2C Construction
Retailing (Storefront Consumer Discretionary)
Software and Services (IT)
Telecommunication Services
Transportation and Warehousing
Utilities

Which of these industries, or set of industries, interests you the most? Some, such as Utilities, Banking, Health Care, Government, and Defense, may currently be making only baby steps toward the future, fighting change due to their unique social, political, or economic history and circumstances. Others including Technology, Software, Media, Professional Services, and Contract R&D, may be racing toward it, depending on the company and sub-industry. All of these industries need great foresight leaders working quietly behind the scenes, or prominently in public positions, to help them adapt and change.

We don’t know yet if any of these industries tends to use more of Amara’s Core Three foresight skills, or the Five Supplementary foresight skills, than any others. It would be lovely to see a survey. As Peter Bishop has observed, mature, slower-moving industries with large average firm size and greater budgets (aerospace, banking, defense, energy, food, government, health care, hospitality, insurance, materials, pharmaceuticals, utilities, etc.) are likely to do more formal strategy, planning- and forecasting-based foresight. Larger firms in more rapidly-moving industries (consumer products and services, for-profit education, retailing, software) seem to do more learning-, innovation-, and fast strategy-based foresight, frequently sensing and interpreting their environment, and responding with quicker short-term decisions, stronger technical intelligence, and multiple longer-term bets and experiments (think of Google X). Smaller firms in every industry are also less likely to do formal foresight work, as they have less resources, unless their leadership treats foresight as a core competency, as we will see in Section III.

We won’t discuss each of these industry groups specifically in this version of the guide. But we have listed a few leading companies in Chapter 8 and at GlobalForesight.org. We urge you to do your own industry foresight research online, via the sites of industry associations, job portals, and on LinkedIn. A particularly powerful strategy on LinkedIn Premium is using both an industry specific word or phrase (i.e., energy, consumer staples) and a foresight word (future, foresight, forecasting, planning, scenarios) in your search string. With a little good online sleuthing you can quickly find foresight-oriented companies, recruiters, and organizational contacts in any industry of personal interest.

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