ftKantar Futures has analysed the behaviours that hold some companies back, and those which allow others to surge forwards, and distilled the learnings into a new approach to solving growth problems, called Futures Thinking.

“We all have a natural tendency to look backwards, think short term, fear change, avoid risk and react rather than anticipate,” says Mark Inskip, Global CEO, Kantar Futures. “Through five simple principles, Futures Thinking reprograms the corporate brain, sharpens the senses and drives action, so that business leaders can kick these bad habits. It delivers the power for organisations to unlock and shape the future, driving success.”

Futures Thinking is a new approach to business strategy, innovation and growth that aims to transform the way business leaders think and help them overcome the natural human instincts that stifle progress and forward planning.

“As design thinking transformed the way that we approach product and service design, so Futures Thinking aims to transform the way that we approach future growth challenges,” adds Inskip.

Its five straightforward principles are explained in a short new book, Futures Thinking: Eggs, Elephants and How to be Ready for Anything.

The five Futures Thinking principles are:

  1. Switch perspectives.

Look from the outside in to see the bigger picture.

  1. Look further.

Take a longer view of time to see deeper patterns of change.

  1. Anticipate values.

Understand people’s shifting values to anticipate social change.

  1. See connections.

Connect the dots to get a richer view of change.

  1. Predict surprises.

Take off the blinkers to reveal predictable ‘surprises’.