One thing every client values is your insight.
You won’t be in the consulting business for long if you can’t untangle complex problems, find the underlying cause, and guide your client to a workable solution.
The most successful consultants, though, go beyond that to offer foresight.
They can answer questions like:
- What problems will clients face next month, next year, or in the next several years?
- What trends are shaping clients’ futures and what will help those clients take advantage of emerging opportunities?
It’s not easy to predict the future, but Dan Burrus, one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists, has an approach that can help anyone improve the ability to (accurately) see what’s on the horizon.
Burrus lays out that approach in his book, Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible. I recommend the book for anyone who has an interest in understanding how the future is likely to unfold.
One of the things I like about this book is its practicality. Burrus shows you how to use readily available information to quickly create compelling and valuable foresights about any business.
Specifically, Burrus outlines seven triggers that contribute to producing foresight:
- Start with certainty – Identify hard trends, cyclical changes, and linear changes.
- Anticipate – Stop, look, and listen. Step out of crisis management mode to see new possibilities.
- Transform – How is your industry transforming? How will new technologies facilitate and change the course of the industry?
- Skip what you think is your biggest problem – It isn’t and never was your real problem.
- Go opposite – Look for opportunities where others aren’t.
- Redefine and reinvent – Recognize the imperative to continuously redefine and reinvent every aspect of your clients’ businesses.
- Direct your future – Embrace the future, help your clients understand it, and search for opportunities that help you manage your future.
Adapted from Flash Foresight, by Daniel Burrus.
After reading the book, I did a podcast with Burrus to learn more about his work and how he sees the future. You can listen to my podcast with Dan Burrus here.
About Dan Burrus
He’s the founder of Burrus Research, a firm that monitors global advancements in technology-driven trends to help clients understand how technological, social, and business forces are converging to create untapped opportunities.
Find out more about Dan Burrus at www.burrus.com.