Creating insights into the future is an demanding task. But from a corporate perspective early understanding of potential change can also yield many benefits, including being the first mover in a new market and being able to demand premium prices, capture a high market share and establishing a dominant position in the emerging market.
To increase the ability to make reliable predictions about trajectories of emerging markets it might be a good idea to talk to your neighbours or to people you know who might have a different perspective. Following this logic firms have started to collaborate on joint foresight capabilities. In our research we came across three different ways:
- executive circles where typically the CEO meets with other CEOs to identify and discuss changes in the environment
- joint foresight, where typically firms have a buyers-suppliers relationship or are connected through their scout networks
- multi-organizational foresight circles that combine companies from different industries to discuss emerging change from different perspectives
The first two examples we discuss in our article “Opening up for competitive advantage – How Deutsche Telekom creates an open innovation ecosystem” (you can access the article as an open pre-print version or as the final article published in R&D Management). If you are more the visual type, you can also access a presentation given at the OECD.
The example of multi-organizational foresight projects is discussed in our book and illustrated below, from the perspective of one firm.