Indeed, much of what was once considered GUBU is now taken for granted. A car that is powered by electricity, or one that drives itself. A billion-dollar hotel brand that doesn’t own property, or a trillion-dollar retailer that doesn’t own stores. Even a virtual chain that allows us to track any transaction in perpetuity, or a sound-based technology that allows us to feel the visible and invisible in mid-air.
And this was the point I was trying to make to the CEOs, that the fourth scenario, the GUBU one, is where disruption truly sits, new markets are formed and future opportunities identified. The rest, which you should also do – for reasons of getting you through your otherwise risk-averse tenure without being rumbled – are invariably about variation, extension and evolution. All are good, but all are merely tinkering with the deck chairs while that iceberg looms.
By identifying the GUBU – even if you dislike it – you are readying your ship for the true challenges and opportunities that lie ahead – the impeachable president, the lying blonde-haired philanderer, but also that unlikely black swan or unicorn product that resets the everyday. To do this, you have to suspend your disbelief, and like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland – a book I recommend to all CEOs or leaders seeking vision – learn to embrace six impossible things before breakfast, or Brexit, whichever comes first.
You can find more about our GUBU-inspired scenario-planning workshops by emailing Martin or one of our new business or strategy teams here.
Written for the professional forecaster, researcher, innovator and foresight strategist, this expanded and updated version of The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook explains, explores and fully examines the growing battery of technologies, techniques and executional approaches used to identify trends, capture insights, develop forecasts, inform innovation, and define and develop new product streams.
The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook is published by Laurence King.
Signed copies of the book can be purchased below.