Timing it Right with Technology Forecasting
50 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2010
Date Written: August 20, 2007
Bell curve of product life cycle has not prepared firms to forecast free fall of product sales, increasingly common phenomena. Technology forecasting techniques pioneered as military games have come to corporate board room. Managers need tools to learn what a competitor will do, also known as foreknowledge, not what the competitor has done. Successful prediction conveys power but full scale foreknowledge is not available, the best of the breed has to settle for foresight. Forecasting flourished in the twentieth century because it attempted to provide investors, corporations and governments with tools for making decisions. Later, Critical Futures Studies (CFS) gave rise to ascendancy of scenario building. Forecasting was an attempt to assert control and a measure of certainty over an unknown future. Scenarios are an attempt to explore diversity within the forward view. Starting point is environment scanning; all of our scanning is undertaken through perceptual filters. It is all about filters, mindsets and world views. We tend to see what we expect to see, so any framework which helps to expand our perceptions will help us to become more attuned to more of the world out there.
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