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(Very) Early Stage Idea Validation

Ideas we have many and the quantity is increasing through the spread of the digital layer in society maturing innovation processes in organization and or the startup culture. We embrace agility and fast implementation getting developers and designers on board and start developing something to show to our stakeholders.

Yet this “something” is often too biased to add value. We don’t listen deeply, understand context and emotions, and are too far away to understand people’s stories. People that we want to convert to users.

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Stay neutral

To prepare for the future we need embrace a fresh perspective, a broader view impulse by a curious mind. No trend reports, not a single person, no unique tool can be enough. The future is about the many. We need to investigate known premises, embrace intuition to identify patterns, and be more consciously aware of or biases.

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The “mosquito effect”

Meaning results from the emotional and cognitive moment in a specific setting and time. Value Perception is illustrated in the story as both complex and singular — one small detail can change everything. The moment of consumption fades fast, so it’s our emotional and cognitive load — the total amount of mental effort and emotional balance necessary — which define our patience and tolerance for not-so-perfect experiences.

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A flashback of foresight

The future has been part of mankind since its origins. Its story is an interesting interplay of arrival and survival. The urge to know more about the future took us in the last 3,400 years from Pythia, the famous Oracle of Delphi, to today’s academic Foresight PhD programs. Unlike in the past, no serious futurist today claims to be a prophet. They’ve learned that only parts of the future reality are known, and that predictions are not about certainty, but about creating a better understanding. Several hundred years passed before we arrived at this stage of maturity, where we see the future not as something divine, certain or known.

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A short history of Strategy and foresight

The 1960s were a time when society underwent profound transformation. It was the era of subcultures, emancipation, disintegration, emotion, and technological progress. The era had no limitations, and has earned such monikers as the “golden age,” the “years of lead,[1] and “the age of the student.” Yet what the ’60s represented, beyond all doubt, was an age of uncertainty.

The increasing upheaval challenged organizations of the time. Trying to lead with an unstable reality, they experimented with new logics. They institutionalized rigid management disciplines with the aim of creating structure in the midst of societal uncertainty. Planners became highly regarded in such organizations.

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The neutrality of the future

It’s easy to express our belief in a bright and better — or darker — future. We have a biased perspective, where we argue using the logic of the past. If we apply such thinking, we merely reproduce what we know today. Yet future realities need the freedom to be different. Biased thinking is our biggest enemy.

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The future will arrive, always!

The future will arrive, always! Feeling paralyzed in the present or ignoring the force of change is futile. Different winners and losers will emerge and it is our call to decide on which side we belong.

We as individuals, organizations, and members of society assume the role we want to play. New realities will present inspiration, risk and opportunity. Yet, they also can be a place of refuge for utopias and fantasies.

As a reader of this book, you have already chosen your preference: creating new future logics. So let us explore more, and answer the following questions:

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Can We Design For Meaningful Experiences And Customer Delight?

As we cannot offer certainty, we offer alternatives that might create surprises, reward interactions, and engage different behaviors. This also means that we design not just the interaction, but also an ecosystem that in the perfect sense incorporates relationship, product/service/brand, and experiences — and if we are lucky, we generate meaning.

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I believe in...a different...Innovation Lab

The "Present Needs" and the "Future Value" can have different interpretations for organizations and labs. In this post I willhighlight four functions that in my understanding are critical to connect the present and the future.  Those are: a reduced backlog, exponential efficiency, a new crisis management processand the search for the breakthrough in the "future focus".

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