Wondering how to do strategic planning like a futurist? It may help to note that every futurist and futurologist consultant applies a different approach to strategy planning, trends forecasting, and analysis. At the same time, it may help to note as follows, depending on how you’re looking to view things from different perspectives.

First off: Strategic planning can be a helpful process for any organization, but doing it like a futurist often offers added insights. That’s because futurists are experts in studying trends, exploring future outcomes, and envisioning potential scenarios. By incorporating their methods into strategic planning, organizations can better prepare for the future and stay ahead of the competition.

Here are some steps that it’s been suggested might aid those looking to doing strategic planning like a futurist:

Look at the big picture – Futurists focus on the big picture, looking beyond immediate concerns and examining the broader trends shaping the future. Start by analyzing the major forces that will affect your organization in the coming years. This could include technological advances, changes in consumer behavior, economic shifts, or geopolitical trends. By understanding the larger context, you can develop more informed strategies and avoid being blindsided by unexpected developments.

Engage in scenario planning – Scenario planning is a helpful tool used by futurists to anticipate potential futures and prepare for multiple outcomes. Rather than relying on a single prediction, scenario planning involves considering different possibilities and developing strategies to address each one. This process can be a valuable exercise for organizations, helping them to identify potential risks and opportunities and develop flexible plans that can adapt to different scenarios.

Identify emerging trends – Being experts at identifying emerging trends and anticipating how they will impact the future, futurists tend to keep an open mind. Keep a close eye on industry developments, technological advances, and cultural shifts, and consider how these changes may affect your organization. By staying ahead of emerging trends, you can position your organization to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid being left behind.

Foster a culture of innovation – Innovation is important for driving success in the future, and fostering a culture of innovation within organizations is also crucial. Encourage your team to think creatively and experiment with new ideas, and create an environment that supports risk-taking and learning from failure. By embracing innovation, you can develop new products and services that meet emerging needs and stay ahead of the curve.

Develop a long-term vision – Futurists are known for their ability to envision the future and develop long-term visions that guide their work. Take the time to articulate a clear vision for your organization, outlining what you hope to achieve in the coming years and how you plan to get there. This vision should be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances but firm enough to provide direction and inspiration to your team.

Use data to inform your decisions – Organizations often look at data when making strategic decisions. Collect and analyze data on consumer behavior, industry trends, and economic indicators, and use this information to develop informed strategies.

Collaborate with experts – Futurists often work collaboratively with other experts in their field, pooling their knowledge and expertise to develop more informed predictions. Organizations can benefit from the same approach, collaborating with experts in relevant fields to inform their strategic planning. This could include industry analysts, academics, or other experts who can provide insights into emerging trends and potential futures.

Bottom Line: Doing strategic planning like a futurist requires a forward-thinking mindset, a focus on emerging trends, and a willingness to be flexible and adaptable. By incorporating these key principles into your strategic planning process, you can develop informed strategies that position your organization for success in the years ahead.