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Long-term planning is becoming increasingly problematic for organizations. Technology developments are taking pace at a speed that makes it difficult to leverage traditional linear forecasting methods. Shell is one of the most advanced users of techniques that are designed to explore possible alternate future scenarios. This article outlines why Shell developed a program called Technology Futures to look at areas outside of energy for insights and innovations that provided new opportunities for its business. In addition, the article details the next iteration of the program called Future Agenda, which is the world’s largest foresight program, and the only one developed on an open source framework. Linking foresight to innovation in order to explore opportunities is an effective method of developing new high margin offerings.
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Shell is one of the world’s largest companies and has the tenth largest market value in the world (according to Forbes in April 2011). It is an energy company with most revenue from oil and gas and also has a large renewable energy programme.
The Black Swan theory deals with events that are a surprise (to the observer) and have a major impact. After the fact, the event seems perfectly rational in hindsight.
Gary Hamel is a leading management thinker who has published a number of highly regarded books. In 2008, the Wall Street Journal ranked him as one of the world’s most influential business thinkers.
The IBM Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) started in 2004 and echoed the same approach as the Shell Technology Futures programme. IBM bought together experts from around the world to address big issues facing the world. The aim of the programme was to identify new business opportunities.
Zurück zum Zitat Hamel, G (1999) Bringing Silicon Valley inside. Harv Bus Rev 77:70–84, 183 Hamel, G (1999) Bringing Silicon Valley inside. Harv Bus Rev 77:70–84, 183
Zurück zum Zitat Rohrbeck R, Gemunden H G (2011) Corporate foresight: Its three roles in enhancing the innovation capacity of a firm. Technol Forecast Soc 78:231–243 CrossRef Rohrbeck R, Gemunden H G (2011) Corporate foresight: Its three roles in enhancing the innovation capacity of a firm. Technol Forecast Soc 78:231–243 CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Taleb N (2010) The black swan: The impact of the highly improbable. Random House, New York Taleb N (2010) The black swan: The impact of the highly improbable. Random House, New York
- Technology Foresight: The Evolution of the Shell GameChanger Technology Futures Program
- Springer New York
- Chapter 11
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