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Methods

At the core of our methodology is the Foresight Framework, a proven and proprietary methodology to find future innovation opportunities and to create forward-looking organizations. The methodology began at Stanford University and has been tested with various teams and companies since 2004. Comprised of 15 core methods for problem scoping and problem solving, the Foresight Framework is designed to address complex problems and future planning as systematically, creatively, and efficiently as possible.

    By using this framework, participants prepare successfully for the future by answering three fundamental questions:

    1. How do I begin looking for future opportunities?
    2. How can I create a path to these opportunities that anticipates the inevitable changes along the way?
    3. What can I start doing today that will help me get there first?
    Foresight Playbook cover
    Publication Spotlight

    Playbook for Strategic Foresight and Innovation

    Looking for practical foresight methods? Download a free PDF of our playbook (or buy a print version) as your in-house guide.

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    Phase I: Perspective

    Methods in the Perspective phase give you a broad frame of reference, holding up a mirror to the past so you may better anticipate the future.

    METHOD GOAL OUTCOME

    Context Maps

    Foresight method - Context Maps
    Retain complexity of topic, while beginning to converge on priority areas A visual map of the top 8 dimensions in a problem

    Progression Curves

    Foresight method - Progression Curves
    Connect multiple related events and highlights precedents A set of related timelines showing past developments and their timing

    Janus Cones

    Foresight method - Janus Cones
    Uncover indirect influences and events within an era A large-scale pattern map of past major decisions affecting current planning

     

    Phase II: Opportunity

    By understanding future customer changes, methods in the Opportunity phase help you develop an ability to see growth opportunities that exist today and extend into the future.

    METHOD GOAL OUTCOME

    Generational Arcs

    Foresight method - Generational Arcs
    Identify relevant population group and shared values A diagram of the target user population(s) with size and attributes

    Future User

    Foresight method - Future User
    Describe future user needs without extrapolating biases from today’s users A comparison of two customer/user profiles, including anticipated needs

    Futuretelling

    Foresight method - Futuretelling

     

    Convey nonverbal and contextual details about a future use case A short performance of user needs, either captured as a live skit or via video

    Phase III: Solution

    Methods in the Solution phase seek to define the questions that exist along different paths to innovation, which are specific to your industry, customers, organization, and team skills.

    METHOD GOAL OUTCOME

    White Spots

    Foresight method - White Spots
    Determine future focus of opportunity through iterative filters A visual map of the competitive landscape and emerging market areas

    Paper Mockups

    Foresight method - Paper Mockups
    Produce system models that show interactions and related components A 3D prototype of a potential innovation solution

    Change Paths

     

    Prioritize top decisions based on direct path to desired future A visual high-level roadmap for future action

    Phase IV: Team

    Methods in the Team phase focus on finding the talent and leadership your team needs to take an idea forward as a new opportunity or innovation.

    METHOD GOAL OUTCOME

    Buddy Checks

    Foresight method - Buddy Checks
    Let you quickly filter promising innovation partners and teammates Team rehearsal for communicating and receiving new ideas for target reactions

    VOICE Stars

    Foresight method - VOICE Stars
    Identify your team’s aptitude for radical innovation A team score on five dimensions of innovation culture with a related set of supporting activities 

    Crowd Clovers

    Foresight method - Crowd Clovers

     

    Map your personal or team's innovation network A stakeholder map of the innovation players to bring an idea to life

    Phase V: Vision

    Methods in the Vision phase sharpen your team’s vision so that it may take on a life of its own and guide everyone’s actions forward.​

    METHOD GOAL OUTCOME

    Vision Statement

    Foresight method - Vision Statement
    Provide a simple formula to tell a future vision A short inspirational description about an idea’s future value

    DARPA Hard Test

    Foresight method - DARPA Hard Test
    Evaluate future vision in terms of its breakthrough potential A quick scoring about an idea’s visionary potential

    Pathfinders

    Foresight method - Pathfinders
    Chart the most efficient success path for an innovation idea through an organization A visual planning map revealing what to do (or not do) for optimal internal alignment and success

    General Non-Commercial Use​

    • Under the creative commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0), the Playbook for Strategic Foresight and Innovation is available for free download to individuals, companies, and organizations for non-commercial purposes only. 
    • Parties interested in applying the foresight methods from the Foresight Framework for internal development, university teaching or educational reasons, or other purposes may do so with attribution and with no intention to profit.

    Commercial Licensing Terms​

    • The Foresight Framework and all related methods are proprietary tools of Innovation Leadership Group LLC (ILG), as developed by Tamara Carleton and William Cockayne. You may not use ILG trademarks, methods, or other intellectual property assets in connection with web sites, products, packaging, manuals, promotional/advertising materials, or for any other purpose except pursuant to an express written licensing agreement from Innovation Leadership Group LLC. Contact licensing@innovation.io for more information.​
    • Other third party trademarks referenced on the website and in the Playbook for Strategic Foresight and Innovation are the property of their respective owners.