How to Think Like a Futurist

February 1, 20191:56 pm
Generic placeholder image


Remember that future does not just happen – we shape it every day. – Alexandra Levit

Kansas State University researchers found that future-minded people tends to think better for the long-term, be it regarding their health or career decision. The research, which was conducted by Daugherty and Brase, revealed that people who gave future-minded statements in the survey were more likely to report healthy behaviours in the later survey. Adding to the result, Brase said that there will be a lot potential for helping people make better decision. One of ways is by helping individuals shape their mind to be ready for the future.

Cecily Sommers, a business futurist, added that thinking like a futurist will show you how to track changes, explore question, and engage in new thinking that connects today’s pressures with tomorrow’s realities. By understanding future potentials that might impact your company, you can find out emerging trends and market shifts, as well as uncovering opportunities on the horizon.

See also: Email Marketing Forecast from 2018 to 2023

Then, what does it really mean to think like a Futurist or to have a future mind?

Carine Carmy, founder of Self-Employed Consultant, has shared her interview with three prominent futurist, Alexandra Levit, Mahrinah von Schlegel, and Richard Watson in her writing. Thus, “being a futurist means you can predict future trends, modes of operation, and ways of being, as opposed to people who are more focused on understanding present conditions or past lessons”, said Mahrinah. Alexandra added that “futurist means paying attention to new patterns and trends that are slowly percolating up through the market or society that have the potential to catch on in a major way.” In brief, futurist can be defined as a person who is up-to-date to trends and news of what might shape our world.

The time frame and energy needed for futurist thinking

Being a future-minded individual is not an easy job. Richard said that more than 12 months is a fantastic measurement of joining the force. However, to really test people’s thinking, it will take about 15 to 20 years. Alexandra agreed with the statement, but in her opinion, this will take less than 15 years. She said, “The ideal time frame is 5 to 10 years, because although no one can successfully predict the future, in this window you’re more likely to be able to clearly see where things are going according to current operating models.”

In conclusion, being a futurist is not a one night achievements. There are plenty to prepare and try out. If you constantly plan for future and adjust for updated hypotheses, you can be one among futurists. Note that “futurism fails when we hold on too strongly to specific potentials that are proven nonviable.”

The tools needed to imagine and prepare for future

In order to be a futurist, you should read a ton and consult to experts in your field. Pay attention to their perspective. Future leaders should systematise tools that include scenario planning, environmental scanning, Delphi surveying, and individual software programs like Fibres, Futures Platform, or Athena.

Moreover, global news from a variety of trusted sources and data inputs are critical for quantitative predictions. Mahrinah added that it is crucial to understand intersectional industry potentials such as the growing technology.

There will be shifts in corporate structures and financial markets

Mahrinah revealed in the interview that as predicted, there will be 40 to 45 percent gig economy in 2025. Top-down structural hierarchies no longer makes sense now. Thus, new and distributed ownership structures must emerge to accommodate. Moreover, Alexandra added that the widespread use of flextime and remote work means that your success and productivity in a job will be judged by your result, not where or when you accomplished them. In conclusion, corporation should prepare for the employment shortage with a more flexible work time and place.  

A piece of advice to get into futurist mindset

Alexandra Levit: Be proactive, keep your head up, your eyes open, and your mind curious. Take responsibility for identifying disruption in your industry and training your workforce to cope with them.

Mahrinah von Schlegel: Find futurist you like and respect and follow their social media accounts, set Google alerts, and follow their work. This way, you can build a futurist minded thinking.

Richard Watson: Very simple. Think further ahead! Also, CEOs should always ask themselves what assumptions they are making, especially the ones they don’t know about.

Read also: AI for Mobile: A New Way to Speed-Up Performance in Workplace