As our first blog entry I would like to introduce Organizational Future Orientation. We define OFO as:
Organizational future orientation (OFO) is the ability to identify and interpret changes in the environment and trigger adequate responses to ensure long-term survival and success.
To tackle the questions how companies become future oriented and thus ensure long-term survival and success, scholars have worked on different levels (see figure below). Some have done research on
- foresight methods such as scenario technique, delphi analysis, etc., that allow us to explore the future, identify alternative futures or make predictions and
- others have worked on corporate foresight as a process. These scholars imply that there is a corporate foresight function, possibly also a corporate foresight unit that generates insights into the future and channels these to other corporate functions such as innovation management, strategic management, corporate development, marketing, or controlling.
- When we talk about organizational future orientation we appreciate that this ability can be build upon a corporate foresight unit, that utilizes foresight methods, but we also include the possibility that a firm builds its future orientation upon other means, such as encouraging all employees to look for external change and empowering them to respond to this change with individual initiative, possibly through corporate venturing schemes.