Imagine going back in time 5 years and being told these would be the headlines in the not-too-distant future:
Alphabet Drones to Deliver Burritos
Brexit to Cost Thousands of Jobs
Donald Trump in Tight Race to Become President
You might reasonably ask, “Who is Alphabet, why are drones delivering burritos, what on earth is ‘Brexit’, and president of what?”
Which is all to say it’s no easy task to predict the future.
When developing strategy, sure, you want to look into the future and attempt to extrapolate where events and trends are headed. But just as importantly you want to be flexible and adaptable to the unanticipated futures that appear on the horizon. That’s why strategy should be an ongoing process, not a once-a-year event. That’s why contingency planning – thinking through the “what ifs” – is a valuable exercise to help prepare you for those different futures.
And that’s why strategy is about more than just predicting the future.