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Strategic Prospective - Introduction

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Krisztina E. Lengyel Almos

on 15 August 2018

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Transcript of Strategic Prospective - Introduction

Strategic Prospective -
Where does
"Strategic Prospective"
come from?
=> the Uncertain Environment
- need for direction from present situation
- anticipate and prepare for possible scenarios
- create a desirable future
- otherwise the alternatives can be devastating,
expensive, irreversible

of Strategic Prospective
Strategic Prospective includes 2 key phases
-Michel Godet
= future studies, foresight, la prospective:
"anticipation (pre- and pro-activity) to clarify present actions in light of possible and desirable futures."
"conceiving a desired future as well as
the practical means to achieve it
." - Russell Ackoff
1) the anticipatory phase,
the study of possible futures
2) the preparation phase,
assessing possible strategic choices so as to be prepared for expected changed (pre-activity) and provoke desirable changes (pro-activity)
and 5 Key Questions:
Q1: what could happen?
Q2: what can I do? (strategic options)
Q3: what will I do? (strategic decision)
Q4: how will I do? (actions and operational plans)
Q5(Q0): who am I? -
"Know thyself"
- Socrates
what is predetermined and predictable? what isn´t?
Distance into the future

1. Risk
- we can calculate it based on past experiences
2. Structural uncertainties
- when an event is sufficiently unique, we cannot foresee it and thus calculate its probability
3. Unknowables
- we cannot imagine the event
Forms of uncertainty:
Source: Van der Heijden, Kees, Scenarios - The Art of Strategic Conversations, 2005
far, wide and deep
Gaston Berger
attitudes towards the future
1. the
ostrich, who accepts change
2. the
firefighter, who waits for the alarm
3. the
insurer, who prepares for the foreseeable changes
(prevention is more effective than the cure)
4. the
conspirator, who acts to provoke desired change
5. the
actor, who is all the above:

reactive, pre- and proactive
key ideas to keep in mind
when considering the future:

- a place that does not exist - (Sir Thomas More, XVI century: "Utopia")

- trying to reconcile the

scientific logic
1. The World changes but the problem remain the same
2. Overestimating Technological Change
3. Internet: a computerized dumpster (Gargabe-in, garbage-out)
4. From actors to bifurcations
5. Simple tools for complex problems
6. Ask the right questions and challenge conventional thinking
7. From

8. More endogenous projects and fewer scenarios
9. A global vision for 1001 local solutions (collective social projects)
10. Participatory foresight with simple tools
ANTICIPATION before acting
estimation of the future assigned a certain degree of confidence
extension or influence into the future of past trends
coherent sets of hypothesis issuing a given original situation to a future situation
Code of conduct for the actors to reach their goals
Ways and means of reaching goals within the strategy according to the circumstances
Strategic Planning
launched by Igor Ansoff in the 1960s, to refer to that corporate planning should take turbulence into the company´s environment
Strategic Management
launched to emphasize the conditions that enables structures and organizations to adapt to a turbulent world
Strategic Prospective
Concept from 1990s, in which foresight is applied to strategic action and corporate vision (a management tool from anticipation to action via appropriation)
collective mobilization
Prospective Thought
Strategic will
Godet, Michel (2005)
Godet, Michel, Creating Futures -Scenario Planning as a Strategic Management Tool, Economica, 2006
Van der Heijden, Kees, Scenarios - The Art of Strategic Conversation, 2005
Cornish, Edward - Futuring: The Exploration of the Future, 2004
Definitions & Key Concepts
After WWII, Herman Kahn & RAND Corporation
1970s & 1980s: Pierre Wack & Peter Schwartz
Cold War military strategy of the US - global think tank
Corporate Strategists - SHELL
1950-70s - French School - Gastón Berger, Michel Godet
French government & corporate world
Other influential thinkers:
Russell Ackoff (US), Igor Ansoff (US),

Edward Cornish (US), Bertrand de Jouvenel (Fr), Tomás Miklos (MX),
Alvin Toffler (US), Kees Van der Heijden (NL)
-> national system of education, common goods, prince elected by the people
From mid-XX century
Brief History of Futurist Thinkers
Plato (IV century BC)

- having the "right ideas" -critical inquiry, ideal society: perfect justice
"The Republic"
-a better society- dilemma between individual and collective happiness, power & passion
Sir Thomas More
(XVI century):
Sir Francis Bacon
(XVII century):
"New Atlantis"

- science- and knowledge based community, research institute "Solomon´s House", technological inventions change the world
Bernard de Fontenelle
(XVII century): The progress of knowledge as a doctrine
including the thinking about the future (
XVIII century: Diderot:
1st Encyclopedia, 22 volumes)
Marquis de Condorcet (XVIII century)
: Enlightenment, rationalism, advocate of public education, constitutionalism, equal rights:
slavery will disappear, due to science, farmers will make more food, people will have more free time and birth control will exist
->extrapolative method
XIX century
Doctrine of Progress & Science Fiction
Hans C. Andersen
- Americans
over the Atlantic
-"See Europe in 8 days"
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

father of rocket science & aeronautics
H.G. Wells (UK):
"The War of Worlds", " Time Machine", "Invisible Man"
Edward Bellamy

(US, 1888):
Looking backward 2000-1887"
(a civilization with electric light, full employment, clean air, retirement at 45, good income)
Jules Verne:
" Around the World in 80 days"
R. Goddard
father of sci-fi
....early XX Century
collapse of optimism
Dystopian novels & vision of the future
Aldous Huxley
"Brave New World"
1948 -
G. Orwell:

1921 - Zamyatin:

- totalitarian police state
"The Decline of Western Civilization"
-O. Spengler
Chicago World Fair 1893
Improving Our Futures
Fatalism or Control of Future?
"Whatever happens is OK???"
Challenging Fatalism with 3 half-truths:
the knowability
of the future: "we cannot know anything"
->too complex & infinite, BUT we have experiences
existence, change, pattern
trends), casualty
the improvability
of the future: "we cannot do anything"
->we can anticipate and prepare for future events & change "bad cards" or unfortunate events
the urgency of the future
: "we shouldn´t worry about it since we have imminent problems"
-> things can change rapidly, when we don´t expect
Good decisions are based on foresight!
The Secret Ingredient of Success:
(existentialist tendencies: personal responsibility)
to explore systematically possible futures for the nation
to ascertain which futures are desirable
to seek means to increase the probability of their occurrence
influence: Delphi-method, game theories application
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