What Graeme is currently reading

flashforesightI am currently skim reading a few books on future trends and how we can do better at predicting them.  On my shelf as I dip in and out of them are:
Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise: The art and science of prediction (2012: always worth going back to)
Thierry Malleret, Six Global Megatrends and how to make them work for you (2013)
George Day, Periperhal Vision: Detecting the weak signals that will make or break your company: Seven steps to seeing business opportunities sooner (2006)

The one that has captured me most, though is: “Flash Foresight: See the Invisible to Do the Impossible” by Daniel Burrus (2011).

The blurb of the book promises the following: Flash Foresight offers seven radical principles you need to transform your business today. From internationally renowned technology forecaster Daniel Burrus—a leading consultant to Google, Proctor & Gamble, IBM, and many other Fortune 500 firms—with John David Mann, co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Go-Giver, comes this systematic, easy-to-implement method for identifying new business opportunities and solving difficult problems in the twenty-first century marketplace.

Actually, the book really focuses on just one principle:  Go opposite.  “The reason this principle works is as simple as the principle itself: when you look in the opposite direction from where everyone else is looking, you see things nobody else is seeing. It opens up hidden opportunities, unnoticed resources, and overlooked possibilities, acting as a spark that ignites a flash foresight. Practicing go opposite lets you see things that up until that moment were invisible—and therefore impossible—to almost everyone…. The more you look, the more you see. The question is, where are you looking? The key to the power of go opposite is that it puts you looking where no one else is looking. Do that long enough, and you’ll start seeing what no one else is seeing—which will give you the ability to do what no one else is doing.”

The seven principles of the book, that all add up to going opposite are:

  1. Start with certainty (use hard trends to see what’s coming).
  2. Anticipate (base your strategies on what you know about the future).
  3. Transform (use technology-driven change to your advantage).
  4. Take your biggest problem and skip it (it’s not the real problem anyway).
  5. Go opposite (look where no one else is looking to see what no one else is seeing and do what no one else is doing).
  6. Redefine and reinvent (identify and leverage your uniqueness in new and powerful ways).
  7. Direct your future (or someone else will direct it for you).

You can purchase the book here

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