The Strategic Foresight team at Autodesk informs long-term decision-making by anticipating what might happen so the company and our customers can navigate change, seize opportunities, and mitigate risk.
- Our Forces of Change Program is an annual program that results in a report and leadership engagement that orient Autodesk to the known shifts in STEEP (Social Technological Economic Environmental Political) domains over the next 5-10 years. In addition to the comprehensive qualitative aspects of its research, the Strategic Foresight Team provides quantitative analysis of emerging change.
- Via our Visiting Fellows* Program, the Strategic Foresight Team hosts industry-shaping experts who bring orthogonal thought that informs strategic decision-making at Autodesk by challenging assumptions with critical outside perspectives. Fellows are seasoned professionals from a range of occupations outside of Autodesk who embed with the Strategic Foresight team for 3-6 months.
- The Strategic Foresight team aids long-term decision-making with a variety of activities: A Foresight Study is an in-depth, original research investigation into trends, signals, and/or case studies. A Foresight Session and Summary is driven by the Forces of Change program and Foresight Study topics. In addition, "What If" Scenarios examine potential big, strategic moves that could create headwinds or tailwinds for what Autodesk is trying to help our customers accomplish.
So with this in mind, the Strategic Foresight team is constantly reviewing literature related to our field. I recently read How to Future: Leading and Sense-Making in an Age of Hyperchange by Scott Smith with Madeline Ashby. It presents the field of strategic foresight in straightforward, practical terms. The book confirmed many of the concepts and processes that our team has in place at Autodesk. So for companies just getting started with their own foresight teams, this book is a good place to start.
At Autodesk, we are inspired by the prospect of a better world designed and made for all. Our mission is to empower innovators with design and make technology so they can achieve the new possible. To do that, we deliver customers intuitive, powerful, and accessible technology that provides automation and insight for their design-and-make processes, enabling them to achieve better outcomes for their products, their businesses, and the world. Doing that requires preparing for a wide range of possible futures through the practice of strategic foresight.
Foresight is alive in the lab.
* Editor's Note: Fellow is gender neutral. It's a noun, from the verb, to fellow - to make or represent as equal -that can apply to men or to women, e.g., we have Women's fellowships. Fellows are equal companions.