Every week for the last year and a half our team has produced a short video that highlights a future trend or disruptive force that could change the world. The invitation to you and your team is to watch this video and imagine how it might impact your industry, your market and bring threats and opportunities to your products and services.
Sometimes that’s easy and obvious to do. But most often it isn’t. Our brains are just not programmed for Strategic Imagination.
And so, from February we are going to change the format of these ThrowForward Thursday videos. One week we will share a future trend as we normally do; the next week, we will unpack the implications of that trend and show you how you can apply it to your organisation or function.
We believe that the ability to do this is an absolutely essential skill for every member of your team to develop. This is not just for senior leaders or people who develop the strategy – it’s a skill for everyone. We hope that you’ll take time to watch our videos each week and discuss them with your team – not just for some ideas of what the world of the future will look like, but also to intentionally develop your strategic imaginations, and unlock your team’s foresight and future-awareness. You won’t regret it, and it will take less than 10 minutes a week to do.
Here’s a quick video explaining the idea, and hopefully getting you excited for this new approach we will be taking from next month.
By the way, as always, if you’d like to send us a message, or have a suggestion or request for a specific topic or trend, please use ASK ABOUT THE FUTURE to leave a voice, video, or text note for our team.
Imagine I had some secret knowledge and I told you that there would be a worldwide pandemic that would cause global quarantine, and everybody would have to be locked down and the airports would shut, and the ships would have to stop. Would you believe me? Well, of course, you would, because it’s already happened, but if I told you that back in 2016, what would you have done?
My name is Graeme Codrington and welcome to Throw Forward Thursday, where every week we jump into the future and see what’s going on there. This is what our team at Tomorrow Today Global does. We try and develop thought provoking scenarios for the future, trying to stretch people’s strategic imagination and invite them to think about what they would do if, back in 2016, our team watched a number of different videos and talks.
One of them, in particular, was by Ian Golden, who happens to be the dean of Oxford University’s Business school, Saïd Business School and he talked about some of the big things that could change the world, one of which was a pandemic that caused a global quarantine. And we thought that this was definitely something that could happen, very unlikely, but could happen. And we wrote up a little scenario called Costa Rican flu. Apologies Costa Rica, we kind of knew it would come from China, but we had Chinese clients, so we don’t want to upset them unnecessarily. I don’t know why we thought we could just choose Costa Rica. We kind of chose a country on the equator where we were pretty sure that a flu wouldn’t come from. Sounds like I’ve got the flu at the moment, let’s hope it is not Costa Rican flu.
Anyway, we used to call those news bulletins from the future. We would write these little scenarios and we would get our clients to think about them and to discuss them. Not in any detail, not coming up with a massive strategic response, but just to stretch your imagination. As you stretch your imagination and then stretch it again, and then stretch it again. It’s almost like going to the gym and building some muscle. When you need that muscle, you’ve then got it. And so, when Covid actually hit us, some of our clients who had already stretched that strategic imagination were not quite as surprised, not quite as overwhelmed as some of our other clients were.
That’s what I try and do here every Thursday, just take a few minutes of your time to stretch your strategic imagination. To be honest, don’t really try and stretch it that much. Often, I phrase things as if they’re happening in the future, but they’re actually things I’ve just read about and seen have already happened, but maybe not everybody’s aware of them and so alerting you to them and putting them in front of you and saying, what would you do if becomes a very valuable tool? This is something I think that we should be doing, not just with our senior leaders, not just with our heads of strategy, but with everybody in our teams. I think you could spend a few minutes in a weekly team meeting talking about these things.
That’s what I hope you do with these Throw Forward Thursday videos. But I also realise that not everybody’s brain has been trained, not everybody’s brain is programmed to think the way that our team does here at Tomorrow Today Global. So, what we’re going to be doing from February is we are going to only be putting out a Throw Forward Thursday video every second week, and in the other week, we’re going to help you to unpack the implications.
We’re going to show you what the idea, what the issue, what the new technology, what the new insight, what the future trend that we’ve talked about in the previous week. We’re going to show you some of the implications for your industry. We’re going to show you how to take an idea that might not be perfect for your industry and might not be the exact thing that will happen in your marketplace but show you how to unpack that thinking so that you can look for the implications. We’ll also show you how to take something that might happen in the far distant future and how to bring it forward into present reality and look for the opportunities, the business insights, and maybe the practical applications that you can do something about today.
So, Throw Forward Thursday, this is episode 87, and as we head towards February and into episodes 90 and onto 100, you’re going to see a little bit of a change taking place here, where we not only give you insights into the future but also help you to make them more practical and unpack them in terms of their input, impact, and insight.
I look forward to spending that time with you and hope you’ll continue to join me every Thursday as we visit the future and see what we can learn there.
At TomorrowToday Global, we help clients around the world analyse major global trends, developing strategies and frameworks to help businesses anticipate and adapt to market disruption in an ever-changing world.
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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.