Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries
SHAMELESS BOOK PLUG TO FOLLOW
Dear intelligence colleagues:
After more than a year of writing, editing, and design, I am proud to announce the publication of my latest book entitled How to Predict the Future...and WIN!!!
The book is a first in the field of foresight and intelligence, a study of the twenty-five ways we are most likely to fail when we try to see what's next for competition - and what we can do today to make truly future-focused organizations.
For you intelligence colleagues at NING, here's the inside scoop: After the absurdly predictable financial crisis of 2008, I became pretty incensed when everybody said, "NOBODY COULD SEE IT COMING!!!" followed immediately by, "and of course, since this is a crisis, nobody has time to think about the future." And then, all the same pundits and experts and future-y keynote guys went right back to their business like nothing happened.
For me, it was time to expose all the weaknesses of what passes for foresight in our modern business culture, so we can get to the good stuff - the REAL foresight that time after time produces value for leaders. So my new book is part satire and part in-depth analysis of how bureaucracies avoid critical discussions about their future - and how we can overcome this tendency.
In it, we are guided by WORLD FAMOUS FUTUROLOGICAL PREDICTOLOGIST Dr. P. Hughes Egon, who shows us 25 "sure-fire" ways to "predict the future and win" (while in reaiity, these are traps to avoid):
- Listen to major media exclusively
- Put internal politics above external data
- Underestimate new competition and fringe players
- Plan based on a single scenario
- Let fake numbers trump real insights
- Focus uniquely on positive information; punish those who are negative
- Ridicule, ridicule, ridicule!
- Value the probability of forecasts by the charisma of the person delivering them
- Compare the current moment to the 1980s
- Wait for complete information before concluding, deciding and acting
- Rely on technology and business, ignore culture, society, philosophy
- Say you’re looking out 20 years but study today instead
- Take all of your sources from one country, preferably your own
- Don’t waste time thinking about individuals or small groups
- Take it personally! Make sure your ego is the star of all visions of the future
- Never make comparisons to history! Those jerks didn’t even have computers!
- Don’t invite young people, poor people, artists, or any diverse opinions to the table
- Start with the conclusions in mind, and push all information toward them
- Keep the findings of the study secret – don’t try to make the findings available throughout the organization
- Assume that future generations will share your values, biases, superstitions, and desires
- Confuse sexy with important
- Never suggest the whole model may be changing
- Communicate the future in the most abstract, jargony, ignorable language
- Take it personally when your colleagues don’t immediately believe your view of the future
- Make sure this kind of analysis is a once every decade event
If you want to have a good laugh about what happens when intelligence goes wrong, download a sample introduction and chapter for free. Or, if you're really interested in all 25 tips, the electronic (PDF) version of the book went on sale today.
THANK YOU - THIS CONCLUDES THE SHAMELESS PLUG!
Alas your style and tongue not quite in cheek humor with this publication, gave me the best laugh I've had in a decade! It's so overdue indeed, that we as a profession question the insular and self reinforcing nature of what we are being fed, not to mention the interconnected nature and incentives of those doing the feeding- ie; academia/government/big business in tandem forcing the line of conversation/thinking into totally linear and monolithic pathways. Yes, and look at where this has landed us! (Gee I think from the short excerpt this is where you are going with this given your critique of MBAs, MSM, the academic finance mess, etc)
I'll be buying your book Eric, because you have the audacity (oh my!) to slaughter some sacred cows and turn them into hamburger I'm guessing...
Bravo for such bravery!
Monica, thank you so much.
What will shock you even more is that many people think "Dr. P. Hughes Egon" is a real consulting future-y strategist keynote guy. What shocks me is that even when I try the most sarcastic mockery of the worst sins of our profession, I STILL can't lower the bar so much that people say, "Oh no, nobody could actually be for real talking like that." They believe that it is possible that SOMEBODY could be a success recommending that you ignore history, make your ego the star of everything, and plan on a single scenario in which you win everything.
I think we have a lot of talking to do as a culture about the overall mindset that creates speculative bubbles and blows them up and then pretends that our mental models were just hunky-dorey, requiring no introspection and retooling.
Or at the very least, we need a good laugh.
Eric, you are most welcome and most deserving.
Your are kidding about folks thinking Egon is real, right? Oh boy, if not.
I'd love to chat live with you sometime about the state of our profession, your book, etc. Dont know if you have my number but its 208 855 0007 when you have the time.
He's been listed as a futurist on lists of "colleagues in the field."
We are, it seems, unmockable, in the sense that no idea is too dumb to be seen as clear satire. This is, to say the least, concerning.
I absolutely and totally give up on CI as a profession if this is the case....good lord. Concerning, indeed. I think I will become a garbage collector instead...hahaha
Thank you Dimitrios.
This Dr. Egon character is getting me all confused...