Think Like a Futurist
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Think Like a Futurist

Know What Changes, What Doesn't, and What's Next
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Cecily Sommers
228xx mm
Push past resistance to discover and own new business territories
Think Like a Futurist shows how to track changes, explore questions, and engage in new thinking that connects today s pressures with tomorrow s realities.
Praise for Think Like a Futurist "Put down your Magic 8 Ball and pick up Think Like a Futurist. In its prescient pages you'll discover how to short circuit the habits that blind us to future trends, how to break through the walls of resistance to change, and how to find the tools you'll need to face the future with confidence." Daniel H. Pink Author, Drive and A Whole New Mind "At last! A book that brings a practical and disciplined approach to creativity and future thinking that can be immediately applied." David Kuehler Founder, The Clay Street Project at Procter & Gamble "Futurism isn't just a profession for an elite few, but a way of thinking that the fast pace of twenty-first century life requires for many of us. Cecily Sommers teaches us what we should have learned in business school or kindergarten--how to apply futures thinking to the challenges of daily life and enterprise." Howard Rheingold Author, Net Smart: How to Thrive Online "Demonstrating a rare blend of heart, foresight, and leadership, Cecily Sommers makes her mark with Think Like a Futurist." Andrew Zolli Curator, Pop!Tech; author, Resilience
Introduction ix

Part One: Know--The Four Forces of Change 1

1 The Four Forces of Change 3

2 Resources 11

3 Technology 21

4 Demographics 33

5 Governance 47

Part Two: New--The Zone of Discovery 63

6 Higher Learning 69

7 Phase I: Define 77

8 Phase II: Discover 87

9 Phase III: Distill 97

10 Who Are You? 107

11 Where Are You Going? 145

Part Three: DO--The 5 Percent Rule 175

12 The 5 Percent Rule 177

13 Tinkering: The Genesis of General Mills's Idea Greenhouse 181

Conclusion 213

Part Four: What's Next Toolkit 219

The Futurist's Mind-set 221

Overcoming Resistance to Change 227

Notes 239

Acknowledgments 245

About the Author 247

Index 249
Push past resistance to discover and own new business territories
Think Like a Futurist shows how to track changes, explore questions, and engage in new thinking that connects today's pressures with tomorrow's realities. Cecily Sommers shows how to apply long-term focus and strategies to needs as diverse as industry forecasts, innovation challenges, leadership development, or future-proofing a brand. By understanding intersecting potentials that one day may impact your organization, you can readily spot emerging trends and market shifts, uncovering opportunities on the horizon.

Think Like a Futurist explores such questions as: Where will new markets emerge over the next 5-10-25 years? What will be the big issues of the day? How will lifestyle, social mores, and policy adapt? And what role do we play in that future?
Offers a clear framework for thinking like a futurist, and direction for how to integrate it in high-pressure corporate environments
Explains how the social, economic, and environmental crises of our time spring from just four constant and predictable forces
Reveals the three dramatic disruptions on the horizon that should be a part of every strategic conversation
Written by Cecily Sommers the Founder and President of The Push Institute, a non-profit think tank that tracks significant global trends and their implications for business, government, and non-profit.

Filled with tools and models for a new world, this book should be required reading for strategists and innovators across disciplines.

"Refreshing. A book that does not follow today's push to be 'innovative' just to snag attention because of the current hot trending keyword. Matter of fact, Cecily Sommers' book works to get us away from simply identifying and going for a ride on the latest trend(s) in our respective industries.

Quite the contrary, rather than avoid a scientific or tactical discussion of trend identification, she works to give us the ability to go beyond trends and into the future.

Cecily has drafted a book providing a nice blend of practical reality, philosophy, and practical execution. It speaks well to current discussions about how to drive 'innovation' or, better, creativity within your businesses--however large or small.

All in, this is a book 254 pages long, including index, that is written at a practical level that, after closer study following an initial read-through, provides a methodology for anticipating the future and taking action to meet it.

Provides a methodology for anticipating the future and taking action to meet it.

Think Like a Futurist is a good read for anyone struggling with how to move their organization forward. Business leaders, product and program managers, service providers will all find the concepts Cecily introduces to be well laid-out with a reasonable amount of supporting content."--The source is a blog: