Every consultant should be a futurist

Most consultants are called upon to help organisations with their future, not their past. So it makes sense to equip yourself with tools to help your clients to see that future.

The Applied Futurist's Toolkit gives you a new package of services, and helps to streamline your work. It enables you to deliver maximum value to your clients in a profitable fashion.

Whether the format is workshops, reports, business strategies or complete restructuring, the toolkit gives you new ways to tackle the problem.

The applied futurist's toolkit offers tailored tools of futurism for consultants
Navigating the future is a critical component of futurism for consultants

Foresight/Horizon Scanning

The first question most clients ask a futurist is "What does our future hold?" The Applied Futurist's Toolkit gives you the means to answer this question - a critical component of futurism for consultants.

Most foresight tools are designed for a 20 year timeframe. Looking out to this range can be enormously valuable for an organisation defining its mission. But for determining a practical strategy, 20 years is much too long, in an age of accelerated change.

Intersections, is the foresight tool for Applied Futurists. It is explicitly designed to help you scan the near horizon. With it, you and your clients can identify the biggest threats and greatest opportunities. You can run the tool on your own, or in a workshop format with your clients.

The toolkit includes everything you need: workshop agendas, exercise templates, introductory presentation, and guidelines for you, the facilitator. 

Use the Arcs tool to translate the output into a strategic plan, customer communication, or a piece of marketing content.

Strategy Development

With clarity about the future, the next step is to develop a response.

The Applied Futurist's Toolkit gives you a step-by-step 'narrative planning' process. With this, you and your client can consider the drivers for change, the possible responses, and the impact on each affected audience: their customers, partners, shareholders and other stakeholders.

Assembling these factors into a series of paired statements gives you the basis of a very simple plan of action: "In response to X, we will do Y and Z. This is how A, B and C will be affected."

You can expand these statements into a headline strategy or break them down into the threads of a detailed strategic plan.

Strategy devlopment is a critical component of futurism for consultants
Agile organisation design is a critical component of applied futurism for consultants

Organisation Design

Few organisations are ready for change. In fact, they have been engineered to resist it.

The last 50 years of business theory has seen us focus on optimisation: how to do what we do, better - cheaper, faster, more profitably. Now we need to focus on adaptability: how to keep pace with the changing needs of the customer and the changing pressures of the market.

This isn't easy. It requires a total reappraisal of how we structure businesses. Much of what we thought was desirable may not be in this new environment. For example:

  • Do we really want everyone to be happy and stay with the business a long time? If we do, where does the challenge come from?
  • Is it possible to align more than 100 people to a single shared goal? Or should different functions have different objectives?
  • Do we want good people in the business? Or do they just disguise poor processes?

These are deliberately controversial questions designed to make people question the established orthodoxy of management theory.

Stratification is a framework for building agile organisations that forces companies to confront these questions and re-build themselves for a more agile future. It provides you, the consultant, with both the tools of diagnosis and a template for rebuilding any organisation in a future-ready fashion.

Futurism for Consultants

Adding futurism tools to your collection of skills and services enhances the value you can add to your clients, and gives you a new proposition with which to open doors. It associates you with the most exciting aspect of any business: its future.

The reality is that most businesses won't have the capacity or the confidence to invest in their own in-house futurist. The more people recognise the threat presented by an accelerated business environment and high-frequency change, the more they will be looking for support. Be the person with the skills to help them.

Get tailored tools of futurism for consultants with the Applied Futurist's Toolkit

What next?

Want to know more about futurism for consultants? Why not get in touch and have a conversation about how these tools have been employed in consulting contexts.

Complete form to start a conversation. We'll send you details of upcoming training courses, the online toolkit, and how to join our community of Applied Futurists.