The interconnectedness of our world has amped up the rate of change dramatically.
Thanks to communication technologies that now make the transmission of information instantaneous, we can create, opine, share, discover, and shape events at warp speed. A warped sense of time, that is.
But that's not all it does. It also effects change in the environment—economically, culturally, politically, and technologically—at a pace that overwhelms our ability to anticipate them. Full stop.
If the future is coming faster than we can make sense of it, what are we to do? It appears that the answer for most organizations has been to become hyper-focused on short-term goals, as if to say, "well, at least we can control this much." It's a hard-wired instinct, reinforced by a hard-wired market system that only rewards quarterly earnings. This is understandable. It is also very dangerous.
So, organizations find themselves trapped in a cruel paradox: the world is changing faster than ever, yet they're committed to shortsighted practices that keep them from seeing opportunities that'd be obvious if they could just pick their heads up from the next deadline. Worse, these behaviors create a reinforcing cycle of reactive decisions that drain vitality from the company. The devastating reality is this: maintaining a short-term focus at the expense of long-term investment is a certain death sentence for an organization.
To most people, this description is distressingly familiar. Also familiar is the desire to do better. They want to find a way to investigate what's changing and why. They want to trade in fear of change to excitement about the future. They believe they have something to create, a mark to leave, a difference to make. They also know that there's no chance of any meeting the future if they can't take care of current demands. The question is "How?"
Cecily knows that it takes a lot more than an exhortation to be creative, watch trends, and introduce ping-pong tables to the environment. It takes real skills, real competencies, real measures, along with sophisticated engineering to make sure that futures thinking and innovation are incorporated into the existing system. The answer, she believes, comes, not from trying to change business systems, but building innovation capacities into the system as it is.
Cecily Sommers has created and led custom innovation projects for groups as varied as Accenture, American Express, General Mills, HealthPartners, Kraft, Nestle Purina, Starwood Hotels, Target, universities and music schools, electric co‐ops and Silicon Valley start‐ups to name a few, as well as countless public seminars. Her future‐directed programs bring the power of strategic foresight to strategy and innovation. With new tools and models developed for a new world, you’ll discover fresh answers to ageless questions, “What’s shaping tomorrow’s markets?” and “Which opportunities give us greatest advantage?”
Delivered in 3 hours, 3 days, 3 months, or 1 year, Cecily’s work explores intersecting potentials — yours and those in the future — to find not only the Big Idea, but the Right Idea, to keep you in tomorrow’s game. Finally, an Innovation Portfolio and Road Map to the Future connect long‐term projects to current realities, ensuring R3.O.I. (resilience, relevance, and revenue) over time.