The difference between futurists and regular consultants


Mitch Betts from the blog Dispatches drew my attention to a chart on Futurist Joe Coates’ Web site that compares futurists, internal staff planners and mainstream consultants for purposes of business planning. You can check out the chart yourself, but just to give you the flavor, I posted a few of my favourites:

Futurists: Attention to wild cards and discontinuities

Internal business group: Continuity assumption dominates

Mainstream consultancy: Continuity assumption dominates

Futurists: Speak the unspeakable

Internal business group: Uncongenial thoughts/ideas are suppressed

Mainstream consultancy: May or may not explore the uncongenial

Futurists: Emphasize alternative futures

Internal business group: A single future often dominates

Mainstream consultancy: Weighted towards the experts’ most likely future

Futurists: The future dominates the recommended actions

Internal business group: Past experience and present concerns dominate

Mainstream consultancy: Historical industry data and case studies support the recommendations

Futurists: Mind Changers

Internal Business Group: Mainstream thinking dominates

Mainstream Consultancy: Often exploratory and persuasive

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