After the Great Recession of 2008, many companies chose to take less risk and invest in proven categories and products. As a result, R&D within many companies moved more resources to focus on short-term, low-risk projects that create revenues in the one- to three-year plan period. But low corporate revenue growth on Wall Street, even with high profits, has signaled that we have reached the limits of that approach. Companies will need to take more risk to grow through longer-term, higher-risk innovation programs supported by a revitalized R&D competency.
The practice of foresight is a key element in these bigger, riskier bets, helping organizations identify new projects and areas to work on, manage those projects to deliver the right attributes for the market, commercialize big innovations, and grow innovations once they’re in the market. Corporate foresight is a collaborative process in which management teams engage in exercises aimed at constructively engaging with the future. It consists of three phases:
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Volume 60, Issue 1, January-February 2017