My friend Michael Mace wrote a book on a topic that, I think, he is one of the world’s foremost experts in: mapping the future. I met Mike when he was the chief competitive officer for Palm. Since then we have had long conversations about where the market has been and where it was heading. I am constantly amazed at the foresight he has had.
Mike just released a book on the topic called Map the Future and I was privileged to read a pre-release copy.
Most companies think about the future the wrong way. Visionary companies try to impose their will on the future, like a military drill sergeant; analytical companies try to predict the future in detail, like a weather report. Both approaches fail when there are changes we didn’t anticipate. The reality is that the future’s not determined yet, so you can’t predict it exactly, and you can’t always control it. What you need instead is a map of the possibilities, like a highway map for the future, so you can see where you can and can’t go, and then nudge events toward the future you want to see. Map the Future teaches you how to build that future roadmap, and how to use it to drive strategy.