Foresight Communications Strategy

Having an aspirational vision of the future is not enough. Having a strategy or policy is not enough.

If you want to change the way that people approach the future, you must provide them with a new story about their reality.

Any meaningful vision of a future that differs from today requires a change in human behavior. People change their behavior when they change the story they tell themselves about their reality. 

We call this story a strategic narrative, an intentional, compelling story that connects the enduring values of your organization to a story of change to demonstrate how you will not only endure, but adapt and innovate to thrive in new conditions. 

We believe that strategically modeling new behaviors through communications should be a part of every foresight project, and we incorporate it into all of our activities.

strategic narrative
A strategic narrative can drive reality in a new direction

Our foresight communications offerings

Communications that help people transition from an old way of thinking and behaving to a new one begin with a transformational vision, which can be developed using strategic foresight tools, such as trends research and scenario planning. Yet, it cannot end there. In order to be compelling enough to be adopted, a new vision must have an organic and meaningful connection to the past as well. Our communications practice revolves around building a bridge between the past and the bold new future. 

Communications Services:

The 4 elements of a strategic narrative

A strategic narrative combines the emotional power of storytelling with an evidence-based analysis of the need for change. It helps people transition into a new and unknown future by bridging past and future values through a story that makes sense to people.

A strategic narrative can be used as basis for communications plans that engage employees, stakeholders, and shareholders in the delicate but critical process of change. We can work with you to ensure that all four necessary elements are in place to create one for your organization:

  • A strong institutional identity
  • A shared understanding of what is changing in the external environment
  • An aspirational vision for thriving in future conditions
  • Value is placed on participatory and open-ended conditions that permit people to engage in ways that make sense to them
To fulfill a strategic role, an institutional narrative must have four essential qualities

The power of strategic narrative

We learned that an organization is defined by its narrative, and the ability to strategically take ownership of that narrative is invaluable.

The insights elicited crystalized two major things for us: an understanding of each individual’s separate piece and perspective of our shared past narrative, and practical methods for discussing, defining, and shaping our future story.

” … At the end of the first day, I said to the organizers, you have to learn a new methodology, Strategic Narrative. At the end of the day, I asked everyone what they had learned and one said, ‘My takeaway from this is the idea of strategic narrative. We can choose our future story.’ Almost every day, I ask people to change the way they tell their story, and they always learn something new, just from changing their narrative. This is the power of what Amy does.”

Read the definitive guide:

Strategic Narrative:
A Framework for Accelerating Innovation

“When we shift our stories–the interpretive lenses through which we understand our past, present, and the still unfolding future–we generation a new way of understanding our relationships, our motivations, and our purpose. This opens up the space for innovation, even in entrenched systems. The opportunity to stop doing what is no longer useful and to generate new behaviors, policies, processes and actions becomes possible.” –from the guide

Organizational vision is important, but a strongly held story of who we are and why, takes team performance and engagement to a whole different level. Strategic narrative is powerful. Amy Zalman’s book is rich with important ideas and practical advice for how to take on something critically important to every organization. Well done and highly recommended

– Steven Kenney, Founder & Principal, Foresight Vector LLC

Quotes from the book will live on my whiteboard for the duration of my professional career

– Melonie Richey, Technical Program Manager