Evidence for the impact of corporate-foresight activities

With this recent article we aimed to contribute to the discussion on the impact of corporate-foresight activities.

Based on a literature review we identify three groups of potential value creations:

  • Trigger organizational responses, including identifying relevant external change, start new innovation initiatives and challenge innovation development to ensure state-of-the-art
  • Start and facilitate strategic discussions to enable strategic change, including challenge and change existing mental models, moderate strategic discussions, promote participation and support breaking away from path dependency
  • Identify and support acquisition of needed strategic resources, including identify resources, decide on development of acquisition

Within our case studies we find evidence for activities that have led to these impacts. We can thus link specific corporate-foresight to our value creation groups. We find that:

  • Consumer scouting activities have triggered innovation initiatives
  • Future business workshops that included scenario analysis and roadmapping have led to the development of a new business
  • Technology scouting activities have led to the acquisition of new key technologies and to the creation of start-up companies

By cross-case analysis we identified also four success criteria:

  • Design the foresight activity on the basis of committed individuals, putting particular emphasis on using mutually valuable exchange relationships such as in the scouting network where all four actors profit from the activity
  • Ensure a high level of communication and participation such as in the case of the consumer-scouting activity
  • Use methods that allow for modeling and interpreting of the system of influencing factors (such as the scenario technique), rather than rely on methods that build on linear cause-effect relationships
  • Experiment with methods and processes until you have found a practice that works for your company and takes into account the special requirements in your context

Full reference of the article: Rohrbeck, R. 2012 Exploring the Value Creation from Corporate-Foresight ActivitiesFutures, 44(5), 440-452.

Comments are closed.