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Foresight and looking ahead

Foresight and looking ahead

Coulson-Thomas, Colin (2022) Foresight and looking ahead. Management Services, 66 (2). pp. 19-24. ISSN 0307-6768

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In ambiguous, precarious and rapidly changing situations responsible management services professionals invariably wonder how resilient the productivity, quality, systems and other solutions they put in place will be and for how long they will still be appropriate or relevant and the advice they have given to clients and employers will remain valid. As events unfold, with hindsight it is often found that there were contingencies and precautions that could have been put in place and steps that could have been taken to reduce their negative impacts and better take advantage of any associated opportunities. Just as directors must not overlook or forget that the provision of strategic direction requires them to look ahead, when advising and supporting them practitioners need to be sensitive to signals and signs and prepared for a variety of eventualities while remaining balanced, positive and responsible. They should reflect on time horizons and their responsibilities and be ready to cope with uncertainties and the unexpected. They should think, question and challenge, including in respect of forecasting and the evaluation of scenarios. When considering the implications of future possibilities, direct and indirect impacts and consequences should be taken into account. Practitioners should avoid placing too much confidence in particular forecasting models and tools just because they are complex and a lot of effort and cost have been devoted to developing them. They should be professional and ready at each stage of a process from awareness, through understanding to commitment and action. Collective and collaborative responses may be required. Ideally, any approaches and business models used should be sufficiently fluid, organic and able to adapt and evolve to match whatever is determined or materialises. Forewarned is forearmed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: management Advisory Services; practitioners; professionalism; strategic foresight; futures studies; forecasting, scenarios; uncertainty; collaboration; Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW)
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Leadership & Organisational Behaviour Research Group (LOB)
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
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Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 09:42

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