This book illustrates how to anticipate the future using more than the traditional predictive models (forecasting) based on the forward projection of past experiences, and moving into more advanced methods of anticipation logic (foresight) to build probable scenarios based on weak signals, emerging trends, coexisting presents and potential paths of evolution.
Utilizing a helpful, four-part structure, the authors indicate how corporate foresight is fundamental to interpret and lead change, focusing on the two cornerstones of organization and management. They advocate the separation of Research (oriented to the market of tomorrow) from Development (oriented to the market of today), the establishment of a Foresight unit and the concentration of research activities mainly on the acquisition and recombination of external know-how. After an overview of state-of-the-art literature on forecasting methods, they further propose the implementation of a "future coverage" methodology, which will enable companies to measure and verify the consistency between trends, strategic vision and offered products. These organizational and managing tools are then tested in a case study: the Italian company Eurotech SpA, a leader in the ICT sector.
A useful resource for both managers and researchers, the book will help readers gain the tools necessary to tackle change and navigate complexity in organizations.
Table of Contents
PART I: Anticipating the future
1 The future is increasingly unpredictable, near and singular
2 Innovation shapes the future
3 Responding to complexity
4 Anticipating the future
PART II: Organizing and managing corporate foresight
5 Corporate foresight
6 The first pillar of corporate foresight: Organization
7 The second pillar of corporate foresight: Management
8 The “Future Coverage” Approach
PART III: Foresight in Eurotech SpA
9 Trends in the ICT sector
10 Foresight in Eurotech: Organizational aspects
11 Foresight in Eurotech: Managerial aspects
PART IV: Art reveals the future
Alberto F. De Toni is Rector and Professor of Operations Management and Management of Complex Systems at the University of Udine, Italy. He is also General Secretary of the CRUI (Conference of Italian University Rectors).
Roberto Siagri is President and CEO of Eurotech SpA, Italy, of which he was a founder.
Cinzia Battistella is an Associate Professor of Management Engineering at the University of Siena, Italy.