Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Saturday, September 16, 2006  

Make a Spectacle of Yourself: Gather Inside Intelligence to Follow Your Nose

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

"Staging experiences is not about entertaining customers; it's about engaging them. Entertainment is passively absorbed through the senses. With education experiences a guest absorbs the events unfolding before him while actively participating.”

B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, “The Experience Economy”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. The next step is to consider the factors that are the most important to you, and then decide for each factor what kind of information do you need to collect at a distance and later in person.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: I like this approach. By gathering in order of priority, you can make a quality decision even if you run out of time, right?

Eagle: Correct. We like to practice the 80/20 Rule. Focus first on the 20% that you rate the highest. Then, before you visit on a vacation, for instance, dissect the community.

J2020F: Dissect it? How, why?

Explorer: Your goal is to know all there is to know about the top three regions and communities of people and organizations found within them.

Eagle: Let’s say you compared at Sperling’s Best Places all of the key dimensions on your list of tropical locations and sorted through those that fit Harry Dent’s innovation, early growth, mid-growth, late growth and late maturity categories to land on Oahu as a choice.

Explorer: You’ll already have comparison information, but you can use Wikipedia, Google and to dig in deeper.

J2020F: What kinds of questions do you ask to get at the knowledge you need?

Explorer: What are they doing, what activities are they involved in, how are they making their livings – in which industries and how diverse is the economy surrounding the destination you’ve chosen?

Eagle: Remember that many people are in fact doing unexpected and fascinating things in places where they are hardly supposed to be. So the usual categories of information may hide what you’re really after.

Explorer: Your task is to discover where they are, and who they are, because you do not want to carelessly overlook any individuals or groups who could be of great interest to you.

J2020F: So, on your vacation you can schedule key appointments, and yet leave some time to enjoy yourself.

Eagle: Right. When you visit, go with your eyes and ears wide open and adopt the curiosity of a child following your whims and interests as you ask things of people.

J2020F: This sounds a lot like networking, information interviewing – techniques for finding the hidden job market, right? But on vacation, you aren't on a mission to find a job, especially if you’re planning to retire.

Explorer: That’s right, but it the same approach. You are there to uncover information that will aid you as a decision-maker in deciding where you want to go in the time to come.

Eagle: Keep a journal. You’ll make your best discoveries and gain key insights after the fact. After you’ve had time to digest your experiences and the data and advice you’ve accumulated.

J2020F: So, be organized with a good contact system, but make it an adventure.

Explorer: Especially if you’re looking for the best fit. You’ve earned it. Make it fun and follow your nose.

Eagle: Read nameplates on office doors, Look at directories in buildings that fascinate you for organizations listed that intrigue you. Go in and ask whoever is in charge just what he or she is doing.

J2020F: What do I say?

Eagle: Tell them you are intrigued by their operation as you are going about making a survey of this particular community.

Explorer: Talk to any and everybody. Taxi drivers, interesting or friendly people on the street.

J2020F: What if I walk in on an organization that looks interesting? You say that I’m supposed to ask for the head honcho?

Explorer: Talk to both clerks and head honchos. Aim high.

Eagle: You may get thrown out or shined on, but chances are 90% or better that you’ll get in because each person enjoys meeting interesting people just as much as you do.

J2020F: I guess I’m just so conditioned to expect high stress interviews or to encounter bullet-proof screeners. I have to remember that this is a journey, right?

Explorer: Right. It’s fun. You’re being introduced to one interesting person by one interesting person you just met. Remember, wherever you go, talk to every social strata and kind of profession -- social workers, editors, doctors, bankers, lawyers, clergy, etc.

J2020F: I assume it’s good practice to exchange business cards, get the name of each person, and ask for any informational material they may have.

Explorer: That’s right. Because, at the end of the day write the briefest of thank you notes -- no more than one or two lines is necessary.

Eagle: Get in the habit.

J2020F: Why?

Eagle: Hardly anyone extends the courtesy these days, so you will stand out as you build your list of contacts.

Explorer: And, later as you build synchronicity, it will be people in your network of contacts who will remember you, what you are investigating and who will refer people, further information, and opportunities to you.

J2020F: It seems from what you two have been saying that a software tool like Linked In is beneficial to build you network and expand it quickly.

Explorer: Yes, but it doesn’t replace the face-to-face onsite visit to build relationships in your community of choice. It takes time to prove that you are trustworthy enough to be introduced into the inner circle of a community as an outsider.

J2020F: Unless you happen to intersect a tourist cell, like we did in Cabo.

Eagle: True. But it can help you before and after you go, to identify people in organizations for introductions in the towns, if you search by zip code.

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

8:36 AM

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