How To Future Book Summary By Scott Smith with Madeline Ashby

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How to Future (2020) is a book designed to give readers a structured approach to prepare for multiple futures, both as businesses and individuals.

It focuses on helping people recognize changing trends in information and using these observations to inform strategic decisions.

The content of the book covers topics such as understanding emerging business models, recognizing the importance of redefining what success looks like, and exploring different ways of working with data and technology.

Through this book, readers can gain insight into how changes in their environment can affect their plans for the future.

Ultimately, it provides tools that can help business leaders achieve greater relevance while minimizing the risk of becoming obsolete in a rapidly-changing world.

How To Future Book Summary

Book Name: How to Future (Leading and Sense-making in an Age of Hyperchange)

Author(s): Scott Smith with Madeline Ashby

Rating: 4/5

Reading Time: 25 Minutes

Categories: Management & Leadership

Author Bio

Scott Smith is the author of 'How to Future' and has quite an impressive background.

He's the founder and managing partner of Changeist, a consultant company that focuses on futures research for businesses, NGOs, and governments.

His clients include organizations such as Nokia, NASA, UNICEF, and even the UK government.

This makes his first book 'How to Future' an exciting read with insight into the worlds of business and government.

His experience in consulting adds credibility to his advice and perspectives in this book - making it worth picking up a copy!

How To Prepare For The Future With Futuring Techniques

Futuring Techniques

We often think of the future as having one set path that ours lives must follow.

But in reality, there are many possible futures to consider.

Some may be as fantastical as a sci-fi novel, while others might be as mundane as a typical day at work.

That’s why futuring is an important technique to understand and employ if you want to make the most of each potential future.

With it, you’ll learn how to prepare for multiple possible futures, so that no matter what happens, you can be prepared and thrive.

This section will teach you why preparing only for one possible future isn’t enough and why changes in information and habits can provide clues about what the future holds.

You’ll also discover how to write a compelling story about your own potential future scenario so you can plan ahead with confidence.

How To Use Structured Futuring To Plan For Uncertain Times

At its core, futuring is a tool designed to identify possible futures and prepare us for them.

This practice of forecasting multiple futures offers a structured way to plan ahead, with the goal of optimizing our decision making in the present moment when faced with uncertainties.

For example, when we hire or elect someone, it’s our way of predicting what will happen in the future.

On a bigger scale, this method can help mitigate the effects of climate change.

And on a smaller level, it allows companies to plan for any possibilities that may arise in the market.

It’s not just big names who should be practicing futuring regularly though; everyone should look ahead into their own future and that of their business or organization.

Doing this will give you better insight on where you will be in five, ten or even 20 years from now.

Through futuring you will gain an understanding of what is currently happening around you and have an idea of potential scenarios that may evolve from those events.

For instance, if someone wanted to take a weekend getaway near the beach they could do their research and plan accordingly by looking at weather apps and familiarizing themselves with what sort of weather they may encounter while they are there.

Overall, through an effective use of futuring methods we can approach complex questions more effectively and whittle down an almost infinite number of potential futures into something more manageable and relevant to our current circumstance.

It’s no guarantee but by taking this step forward we can ensure that our decisions are well-informed ones made with care and consideration for how they may influence our future path.

Establishing The Scope Of A Futuring Exercise: Assemble A Diverse Team To Create An Accurate Future-Proof Strategy For Alternative Energy

When beginning a futuring exercise, it’s important to first define the scope.

You’ll need to consider why the project was initiated, what kind of funding is available, who the future is for, and which team members should you assemble.

For example, if you’re working on a futuring project for a company developing an alternative energy technology, look into whether they have any prior experience in this field and understand the current level of funding.

Additionally, decide who this future is intended for – is it global or just within one country or group? All these elements will help you form a general structure from which you can start your work.

To make sure that your futuring efforts are as informed and accurate as possible, assemble a team with diverse backgrounds and skillsets.

This way, different perspectives can be taken into account regarding how countries might generate and consume energy in ten years.

Finally, factor in additional dynamics such as changes in technology, work patterns and travel habits to create an even clearer picture of what lies ahead.

Spot Future

In order to gain an informed view of evolving trends, it is important to look beyond the obvious sources.

It is essential that you “sense” signals from diverse sources in order to make informed decisions.

Sensing requires being observant, curious and objective – looking out for anything that can give you a hint of what might happen tomorrow.

This means actively searching for signs of change – no matter how small or insignificant they may be.

Maybe you notice your supermarket has switched suppliers or catch wind of something new on the news, pay attention!

Be sure to read up on a variety of sources too – cross-checking the information for accuracy and for any inconsistencies.

By actively seeking out different types of signals from multiple sources, you’ll be able to spot patterns and use them to better understand upcoming trends.

The more proficient you are at sensing these signals, the better prepared you’ll be in forecasting the future.

Scanning Is An Essential Tool For Effective Futuring Exercises

When you’re trying to predict changes in the future, one of the best ways to do this is by scanning for signals relevant to your futuring project.

This helps you get an accurate picture of the trends and driving forces that are influencing what your project might look like in the future.

Scanning differs from sensing in that it’s more targeted.

You go beyond looking at what all could be happening by focusing on specific topics, such as power storage, energy consumption, and cost.

You can use databases, social media sites, empirical studies, or academic journals as your sources when gathering information.

When you notice certain signals start appearing around these topics more often than others, it may be a sign of a trend forming that’s worth noting on a list.

Once these trends are identified, then it’s important to figure out what driving forces motived them – which could have been triggered by any number of things related to technology, politics, economics or our environment.

It pays off to dedicate time and resources towards scanning for signals and pin-pointing trends and driving forces behind them – it creates a strategic advantage for your futuring project!

How The Steep Framework Helps Structure And Evaluate Trend Spotting

The STEEP framework is an incredibly useful tool for organizing and analyzing trends.

It can help you get a better understanding of all the forces that are potentially impacting whatever topic or project you are researching.

STEEP stands for Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political and each category represents a potential driving force behind a trend.

To use this framework effectively, it’s important to sort each trend into one of the aforementioned categories and attach a detailed description to it.

In this way, you can create a snapshot of the broad range of trends that might affect the future of your topic and at the same time see which trends may be missing or overlooked.

Additionally, by keeping track of these trends in a central location like a shared spreadsheet, your futuring team can continue to update it as they work.

Overall, using the STEEP framework allows teams to consider how various underlying factors influence their research while also serving as an effective way to organize their findings.

With this valuable tool on hand, futurists can gain even greater insight into potential futures for any given project or idea!

Be Ready To Map Probability, Impact And Future Horizons To Make The Most Of Your Steep Chart

Map Probability

When you’re mapping trends onto future horizons, it’s important to take into account each trend’s probability and impact.

A horizon is the period of time in which a trend will have the most effect, and it’s up to you how long to make that horizon – it can be one year or ten years.

Let’s use the example of an imagined alternative energy company: for one horizon, five years may be enough time for solar and wind power to become more efficient, even though they will still cost too much for widespread adoption.

But in another five-year horizon – from six to ten years from now – costs may have gone down enough that people who used to rely on inexpensive coal or nuclear energy sources begin switching over.

To determine how each trend should fit into the overall picture, you need to consider its probability using the Three P’s: probable (when a substantial amount of evidence suggests it might happen), plausible (when it could conceivably happen) and possible (when evidence supports that it isn’t impossible).

For our example company, scanning efforts showed tax incentives will likely lower costs of solar and wind power o soon which makes this trend probable, but advances in hydrogen fuel cells were less conclusive so these effects need more time to develop before they can safely be placed in a future horizon.

The Key To Successful Futurism: Identifying Threads To Map Out Possible Futures

When futurists create a rough draft roadmap about trends, they’re creating future threads to document possible futures.

This means that when something unexpected occurs like solar or wind energy not being as efficient and affordable as you had thought, then the futurist needs to adjust their plan accordingly, just like a game of chess.

For example, it may mean shifting the timeline for hydrogen fuel cells from five years to ten years if solar and wind energy don’t pan out.

Or it could mean doubling down on these alternative sources of energy if their impact exceeds expectations.

By identifying threads in the roadmap, futurists can document the possible outcomes of various trends in terms of economy, power production and more.

A successful futurist is able to identify as many threads as possible so they can be prepared for any situation and create solutions accordingly.

Using Narratives To Bring Futuring Scenarios To Life: How Crafting Stories Can Help Your Client’s Projects Stand Out

Scenarios To Life

When it comes to creating future books, stories are essential for helping readers understand, believe in, and be affected by the possible future scenarios presented.

One way to make your stories more compelling and realistic is to flesh out detailed stories from recognized themes rather than rely on isolated facts.

For instance, if your client’s futuring process involves introducing a new product or technology into the market, it’s important that that you create a narrative that connects many of the dots between the current state of affairs and how this new product or technology will eventually become successful.

In other words, you need to provide enough evidence and context to convince people who haven’t been involved in your futuring project that these future goals are achievable.

For example, investors want to know what trends you’ve identified in alternative energy (and why they’ll result in your client having a bigger market share) whereas members of the community might be skeptical about the positives of your client’s product – so it’s important to build a story that addresses their concerns through sound reasoning and facts.

At Natures’ Nutrition Futuring group we have found that laying out multiple threads within one story allows us to paint an accurate picture of the various possibilities offered by each scenario.

This way our target audience can get a better understanding of what could potentially happen even if they haven’t seen all the sources and data points used outside of our storytelling process.

By carefully constructing stories from several themes connected with one narrative, we are able to craft compelling futures for our clients!

Wrap Up

How to Future Book provides a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to make smarter decisions about their future.

It encourages users to think outside the box, create plausible scenarios based on current signals and trends, and leave room for unusual ideas.

This helps ensure that all possibilities are considered before making strategic decisions.

Overall, How to Future Book is an invaluable resource that can equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to become a futurist and think ahead of the game.

By utilizing this book as a tool and staying open minded when researching potential changes, you can make well-informed decisions regarding futures today so that your future will be brighter tomorrow.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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