Get There Early: Sensing the Future to Compete in the Present

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Aug 20, 2007 - Business & Economics - 200 pages
These days, every leader struggles with a paradox: you can’t predict the future, but you have to be able to make sense of it to thrive. In the age of the Internet, everyone knows what’s new, but to succeed you have to be able to sort out what’s important, devise strategies based on your own point of view, and get there ahead of the crowd. Bob Johansen shares techniques the Institute for the Future has been refining for nearly forty years to help leaders navigate what, borrowing a term from the Army War College, he calls the VUCA world: a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. As the institute’s ten-year forecast makes clear, leaders now face fewer problems with neat solutions and more dilemmas: recurring, complex, messy, and puzzling situations. Get There Early lays out the institute’s three-step Foresight to Insight to Action Cycle that will allow readers to sense, make sense of, and win with dilemmas. Johansen offers specific techniques, ranging from storytelling to simulation gaming, as well as real-world examples to help readers turn the VUCA world on its head through creative use of vision, understanding, clarity, and agility. This book offers hope for leaders facing the constant tension—a dilemma in itself—between judging too soon and deciding too late.

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Introduction Foresight to Insight to Action
PART ONE FORESIGHT Sensing Provocative Futures
1 Thinking Ten Years Ahead to Benefit Today
2 Institute for the Futures TenYear Forecast
3 The VUCA World Both Danger and Opportunity
4 Whats Different about Dilemmas?
9 Flexing and Flexibility
10 Flexible Firms
11 Foresight from Hindsight
Conclusion Making Your Peace with the VUCA World
About the Author

PART TWO INSIGHT Sensemaking to Inspire Strategy
5 It Takes a Story to Understand a Dilemma
6 Immersion The Best Way to Learn in the VUCA World
7 Sensing and Sensemaking
PART 3 ACTION To Get There Early
8 From Insight to Action
About IFTF
About BerrettKoehler Publishers
Be Connected

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About the author (2007)

Bob Johansen was president and CEO of the Institute for the Future from 1996 to 2004 and is now the IFTF Distinguished Fellow, as well as serving on its board. He is the author of six books, including GlobalWork: Bridging Distance, Culture, and Time.

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