Sense and shape the future: EDHEC Online Strategic Foresight Certificate

Written on 16 September 2021.


Today’s business context demands that leaders display curiosity, flexibility and adaptability to respond to change in a positive manner. The call to action is to embrace the demands of dynamic environments and remain positive about shaping the future.

The power of strategic foresight

Strategic foresight is uniquely placed to help leaders develop their capability as individuals in addressing the opportunities that come with disruption, and to develop the capability of the organisation to adapt. It achieves this in three main ways.

First, it involves a deliberate attempt to explore how your assumptions about the future could be different. Through developing narratives of the future, leaders are encouraged to connect the dots across a series of plausible events.

Second, foresight sets the scene for examining what could be done today to address fundamentally different futures. By ‘rehearsing the future’, new connections are made in the brain to enable more creative, lateral thinking at pace.

Third, it enables individuals and teams to craft their own story of why and how to adapt. This is critical to winning hearts and minds as the first step to accelerating positive action.

Bringing the power of foresight to life

Strategic foresight involves a structured approach to managing uncertainty and complexity through making sense of signals about the future, and through envisioning diverse possible ways to address the opportunities that may arise.

The EDHEC Online Strategic Foresight Certificate follows a coherent set of steps over five weeks, providing a unique platform for individuals to build scenarios and to explore their implications for strategy.

  • Explore why foresight matters: Understand the decision- making biases that get in the way of being able to adapt and thrive under uncertainty.
  • Detect signals: Identify, interpret and prioritise early signs of disruption to make sense of how the future could be fundamentally different from today.
  • Develop scenarios based on the detected signals: Build meaningful, valid and innovative connections across seemingly disparate concepts to challenge beliefs about what the future may look and feel like.
  • Craft a strategic response to scenarios: Connect ‘what if’ to ‘so what’ by examining actions to be taken over the short, medium and long term to respond to possible disruption.
  • Build an action plan: Synthesise insights into a simple, clear and compelling strategic narrative, underpinned by a set of confident actions to take in response to change.

Several courses on strategic foresight focus on steps 1-3 only. Through steps 4 and 5, this course helps to:

  • Make the leap from an imagined future to pragmatic actions to take today
  • Build confidence on the value of foresight beyond understanding the nature of disruption
  • Learn techniques for developing innovative strategies at low cost
  • Build alignment across stakeholders on why foresight is uniquely placed to help manage uncertainty in a productive, proactive manner

René Rohrbeck

Professor, Director of the FIT Chair EDHEC Business School

Camelia Ram

Future of Work Strategist Affiliated Researcher

Who this course is for

  • The certificate course is particularly relevant for those who want to:
  • Explore the nature of imminent disruption in their industry
  • Learn how to build scenarios to create a sense of urgency on the future
  • Translate insights from scenarios to action
  • Develop innovative strategies with multiple stakeholders at pace and at low cost
  • Adopt and embed foresight as a capability in their organisation

This course is unique in the market because

  • It does not exclusively focus on scenario development techniques. Two full weeks of the five week course are dedicated to crafting strategies and developing a concise strategic narrative.
  • Live sessions are designed to facilitate exchange of practices across diverse organisations in different countries. This provides the opportunity to learn from and with others that extends beyond the five-week course to build a community of foresight practitioners.
  • A premium option that entails an additional 10 hours of bespoke coaching for individuals and teams provides an opportunity to apply learning in a more comprehensive and meaningful way.
  • Rene Rohrbeck and Camelia Ram, who co-lead the course, have extensive experience through consulting and academic research, in connecting foresight to strategy and innovation, setting up foresight units, and facilitating interventions so that leaders use foresight as a tool to accelerate their role as change agents.
  • The EDHEC Online platform is an innovative medium that is accessible worldwide, and that targets the highest academic standards. The platform already attracts a solid community as well as partners organisations such as Stanford Center for Professional Development, ESMT Berlin, Tableau and Openclassrooms.

Getting started

  • The next edition of this five-week course starts February 28 2022.
  • The time commitment is roughly 1 day per week for the duration of the course, following which you are invited to join our community of foresight practitioners, enabling you to build depth and breadth in your capability over time.
  • The course also provides the opportunity to benchmark your organisation in terms of its ability to embrace new circumstances, with tailored recommendations for addressing critical gaps and building on existing strengths.
  • Contact us to learn more.
  • More information: http://fit-chair.edhec.edu/
  • Suscribe to the newsletter: https://www.edhec.edu/en/receive-our-research-news

Lisa Nezam

FIT Chair Project Manager

Tel: +33650959933

 

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