Definition: Anticipate and respond to potential consequences of internal and external events, trends, or patterns; avoid unintended consequences.

Relates to: Be Nimble to Exceed the Rate of Change


  1. Engage in continual environmental scanning, rather than making it an annual or bi-annual one-time activity. Ask all staff to participate, since different roles and backgrounds will create different perspectives.
  2. Use foresight techniques during staff meetings. For example, when discussing strategic planning, consider “back-casting,” that is, taking the long-term goals and working backwards for each year. 
  3. When discussing projects, ask questions that ask people to think into the future, such as “What could make this fail?” and “What could make this succeed beyond our imagining?” 
  4. Discuss the idea of “weak signals” with staff at all levels. What early indicators of potential major change might they see in their roles? What additional indicators would confirm or reject the possibility of major changes?