How to Systematically Explore New Business Fields?

Technological Forecasting and Social Change

In a recent article we report on a strategic foresight project where we worked with multiple companies to explore a new business field. Below you find a short presentation which illustrates our approach. The described approach was highly customized to fit goal and context, but in the article we also elaborate on how the approach can be adapted to other cases. In addition we also discuss the key success factors and thus hope to also contribute to the understanding how strategic foresight projects should be organized in general.

The project setting is a large collaboration project between multinational companies from different steps in the value chain of the telecommunication industry. In the project we combined different foresight methods into an integrated business-field-exploration approach. The goal was to gain a holistic picture about how the new market could develop and at the same time to validate the business potential. It was important to substantiate the analysis with including hard data and multiple external experts in the approach.

The key methods that we used were:

  • use cases to describe potential products and services in generic terms
  • with Godet’s MACTOR analysis we evaluated if key stakeholders would be likely to form an effective value network
  • through scenario analysis we explored future market configurations and identified barriers and drivers
  • using target costing we assessed the financial feasibility.

While such a complex approach might look to be feasible only for large firms, we also elaborate in the article how through smart integration of the methods the overall effort can be limited.

Full reference and download links to the article:

Heger, T. and R. Rohrbeck 2012 Strategic Foresight for Collaborative Exploration of New Business FieldsTechnological Forecasting and Social Change, 79(5), 819-831.

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