ESTT member M. Wiener contributed to the ISPIM Innovation Conference 2020 (online) with the paper “Foresight to foster crisis-driven innovation”. The abstract is as follows:
In the current COVID-19 crisis, household names like LEGO, Carlsberg and General Motors and many others proved that they have the agility to turn around (temporarily) their operating business to serve societal needs. It is commonly assumed that risk management helps organizations in such situations, by identifying and detecting possible risks at an early stage to enable them to develop strategies to handle the risks. However, in times of crisis such as pandemics, traditional risk-management tools might not be suitable, as companies tend to monitor and manage risks primarily based on past data and experience. Hirt et al. (2020) propose to learn from military organizations, as they are specialized in dealing with large-scale crises. In crisis, military organizations establish ‘plan-ahead teams’, which support decision-makers in non-routine situations by delivering scenarios, recommendations for actions, and trigger points to the management team. Considering that a pandemic has long been predicted and that the current one will not be the last one, we propose organizations should familiarize themselves with foresight techniques and, more importantly, have an established foresight mindset, to ensure that they are familiar with developing, and thinking in terms of, future scenarios.