Why you Need Strategic Foresight to Harness AI’s Potential for Disruptive Transformation

In the rapidly evolving landscape of business, there's a singular issue that commands the attention of almost every organization: the impact of artificial intelligence (AI). This transformative force is not just a buzzword; it's a paradigm shift. For many organizations and businesses, an understanding of how to strategically navigate this shift will be what separates those who survive (or worse) from those who thrive and grow.  

The impact of AI affects companies and organizations both internally and externally. Internally, businesses witness the gradual integration of AI into their operations, promising increased efficiency and optimization. Externally, market dynamics are reshaped by the emergence of new players, innovative business models, and increased competition for customers' attention, which in turn drives the need for exceptional efficiency and accuracy. However, to merely view AI as a tool for efficiency overlooks its potential for profound transformation of business models, internal organization and strategies.  

On April 18, 2023, the American software engineer Kent Beck tried ChatGPT for the first time and realized that 90% of his skills suddenly dropped to $0. The same day, he tweets that the leverage of the remaining 10% just went up 1000x. The implication? It was time to recalibrate. A practical example of this is the idea of skills-complementarity in team design. Traditionally teams are designed based on which skills are necessary to solve a given task a team is engaging with. With AI we now have one team member that knows more than the rest of the entire work force combined. Knowledge becomes less of a bottle neck; instead, how to access, oversee production of and leverage knowledge looks like the next strategic area to staff for.  

To harness this potential effectively while remaining true to purpose and aligning with positive social impact requires a strategic approach. It becomes essential to ask the right questions: What knowledge areas, routines, and tasks are needed in the business, and who performs them best, the human or the machine? How to optimize the knowledge areas that the machine does not take over? And not less importantly, how do we harness the surplus capacity this process contributes to? And this is just scraping on the surface of what is to come. 

If you are thinking along these lines, you have already come a long way, but if you want to go all the way, future oriented analysis needs to be added. This is where Strategic Foresight emerges as an indispensable method to guide businesses through the complexity of the 4th industrial revolution. Strategic foresight goes beyond trend analysis to encompass a strategic assessment of capacity and resources, coupled with future scenario development in alignment with purpose. What are the emerging trends shaping our industry and our customers' behaviors and needs? And what future scenarios does this point to? Central to this approach is that change for the sake of change is not enough. Companies need to understand what the greater purpose of their business is and what that might look like in a new information landscape.  


By understanding purpose in relation to the potential of disruptive technology, businesses can begin creating future visions for what future productivity might look like. With visions and developed scenarios, companies can not only adapt to ongoing change, but rather drive it through their own transformation. With a vision and scenario of a desired state of future productivity, you have created manageability and the ability to operationalize a future-oriented AI strategy.  

Strategic foresight is therefore a way to avoid being forced into reactive and adaptive change. It empowers organizations to navigate the complexities of the digital age, seize opportunities for growth and innovation, and enables disruptive change that aligns with their core values. In a world shaped by AI, strategic foresight is key if your organization wants to be part of driving that change.  

We would be happy to help you find your way through what GenAI has to offer your business. Contact us if you want to book a workshop to move forward with your AI strategy.  

By Anna-Paula Jonsson