Trend Scanning, Scouting and Foresight Techniques

Front End of Innovation: Managing the Unmanageable Fuzzy Side, Oliver Gassmann & Fiona Schweitzer, eds., 2013

18 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2013

Date Written: March 21, 2013

Abstract

The front end of innovation has earned the adjective ‘fuzzy,’ particularly as it is considered unstructured, non-linear, and highly iterative (Khurana and Rosenthal 1998; Koen et al. 2001; Verworn et al. 2008). But this should not be misunderstood as a need to rely on hope or chance encounters to drive innovation.

Beating competition in the innovation game will require developing the abili-ties to innovate on the basis of early signals in trends, involve internal and external partners in discussing insights into the future, and to build an organization that is able to grasp opportunities in a timely manner.

This is by no means easy for any firm, and to make matters worse, building foresight capabilities involves working partly against organizational reflexes that are useful and critical. For example, the critical ability to focus on the current business can easily be damaged if the firm engages excessively in scanning its environment and entering new fields of business. Thus, building corporate fore-sight capabilities will always imply an important balancing act.

Keywords: Innovation Management, Fuzzy Front End, Corporate Foresight, Trend Scanning, Scouting

JEL Classification: E17, M1, M19

Suggested Citation

Rohrbeck, René, Trend Scanning, Scouting and Foresight Techniques (March 21, 2013). Front End of Innovation: Managing the Unmanageable Fuzzy Side, Oliver Gassmann & Fiona Schweitzer, eds., 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2237631

René Rohrbeck (Contact Author)

EDHEC Business School ( email )

France

HOME PAGE: http://edhec.edu

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