Signals! Stay Alert!

Drastic and sudden changes can occur in the world without warning, like how the coronavirus pandemic altered the lives of millions within a matter of months.  In this ever-changing world, businesses need to adapt through corporate innovation so they can search for solutions and update their business models. 

To enable corporate innovation to develop extensively in organizations, corporate leaders must focus on the application of Strategic Foresight and Futures Thinking in the way they operate. 

Strategic Foresight is about developing a strong understanding of the various trends that can emerge amidst vast amounts of information. Identifying these trends is key in creating successful innovation plans and searching for innovative opportunities that organizations can capitalize on. 

One way companies can do this is through Strategic Foresight and the identification of signals. 

What are signals?

Signals are small or local innovations or disruptions that have the potential to grow in scale and geographic distribution. These are typically small or local innovations that have the capacity to grow and expand in terms of scale and distribution. 

They can take the form of new technologies, practices, policies, and even marketing strategies. 

Signals act as a stimulus that highlights emerging trends with implications for many companies across different industries. By taking note of signals when they first appear, industry players can have a glimpse of a possible future in the market and adjust their business strategies accordingly.  

Importance of Signals in Navigating Today’s Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA) World

According to an article in The Business Journals, VUCA refers to the combined characteristics of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in today’s world. Recently, VUCA has often been used to describe the state of the world brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic which business leaders must navigate through to survive. 

In a VUCA world, business leaders must possess the leadership skills necessary for traversing through a myriad of uncertain circumstances. How well leaders are able to use their skills in this regard can spell the difference between the success or failure of their businesses. 

While operating businesses in a VUCA world does present numerous challenges, it also provides many opportunities to explore new business models and push the boundaries of innovation for many industries. 

This potential further emphasizes the importance of signals for businesses as signals provide foresight into the possibilities that lay ahead in the future. 

While signals may be difficult to predict, signals are crucial in understanding the changes and business strategies that companies will need to undertake and apply for future success. 

By being aware of signals, corporations will have the necessary information to innovate themselves through Futures Thinking. 

Nothing is constant in the world, and corporations should always be ready to create change within their framework to prepare for the uncertain future.  Recognizing signals early can be the game-changing factor for a corporation to achieve success.

Be the signal of the future. Schedule a call with our Futures Thinking experts and learn how we can help you survive and thrive in a VUCA world.

This article was updated on June 14, 2022.