Measuring the ROI of Future Forecasting

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It’s obvious that every organization needs to plan for the future. Paradoxically, you must justify paying for strategic trends forecasting and advising in the present, well before you can measure your return on investment using the standard metrics. This scorecard offers a set of quantitative and qualitative measurements to better understand the value of forecasting and to help your organization evaluate a potential investment.

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Measuring the ROI of Future Forecasting

  1. 1. STAFFDEVELOPMENT The organization/ program/ department easily justifies its spending internally and to external stakeholders. The organization makes smarter investments that achieve stated objectives. The organization allocates financial resources to achieve a positive ROI. Few to zero requests for budget reductions related to technology, digital strategy, digital media or R&D. Positive ROI on technology-related programs, projects or acquisitions. Increased revenue as compared to last quarter/ year. Leadership is praised by stockholders/ investors/ key stakeholders for foresight and near-future planning. Financial institutions/ investors/ stockholders/ key stakeholders value the organization. The R&D/ innovation/ tech/ digital media budgets increased YoY. The XYZ technology program/ project/ acquisition earned a positive ROI assessment. The organization received X# inbound inquiries about investment/ acquisition/ merger opportunities. The organization is known for anticipating and planning for change. Among industry peers, the organization is known for never being “surprised” or “caught off guard” by the changing tech landscape. The organization attracts the best and brightest within the field, and it is a magnet for up-and-coming talent. The organization and its management are regarded as industry leaders at conferences, meetings and events. The organization is popular at recruiting events. The organization’s vision, practices and leadership are known to those in other industries. Details about the organization’s management practices are in-demand. X# of leadership team members are recognized as thought leaders within the field. The organization consistently receives X# earned media placements every month. X# of new applicants are current employees of competitor organizations. Survey respondents say that the organization is known for X, Y, Z (being ahead of or setting industry trends). Industry survey results show that the organization is regarded as the most cutting-edge. Leadership have enough knowl- edge to assess the impact of a trend on the organization. Leadership are consistently allocating enough organizational resources (time, personnel and budget) to focus on emerging trends, innovation and iteration. A portion of senior management time is invested in developing tech-related strategies for the future of the organization. Processes are in place to move ideas and strategies from infor- mational/ conception to critical decision points. The organization’s innovation portfolio is balanced across dimensions: amount of risk, strategic digital/ technological planning, etc. % of staff engaged with forecasting workshops/ training. Project/ strategic objective completion rate (as related to technology). Iteration rate on strategic plans and directives that relate to technology/ digital media. Rate of staff turnover (senior through entry-level staff positions). Senior management report more faith and trust in executive leadership’s strategic tech/ digital vision and planning. Leadership include farther-future scenario planning in strategic plans and organizational assessments. Leadership are more nimble and responsive to change. X% senior/ executive leadership attendance in the Foresight Program’s quarterly forecasting workshops. X% of senior/ executive leadership open Notes From The Near Future monthly research reports. X% of senior/ executive leadership click on the links included in Notes From The Near Future monthly research reports. X% of senior/ executive leadership participate in the Foresight Program monthly trend update calls. X% of senior/ executive leadership download the Future Today Institute’s annual trends report. X% of projects/ strategic objectives are completed within X amount of time. Staff turnover is less than X%. Amount of senior management time devoted to innovation/ forecasting increased to X%. Staff are aware of emerging technologies within their industry sector. Staff understand competitive threats and new opportunities. Staff effectively iterate existing strategies/ products/ workflows in order to keep pace with emerging technology trends. % of staff engaged with forecasting workshops/ training. % of improvement in program/ product/ department iteration as demonstrated during performance reviews Additional staff or depart- ments ask to participate in forecasting workshops/ trends training. Staff view the organization as leading the industry forward (vs viewing the organization as being out of touch or “left behind”). X% staff attendance in the Foresight Program’s quarterly forecasting workshops. X% of staff open Notes From The Near Future monthly research reports. X% of staff click on the links included in Notes From The Near Future monthly research reports. X% of staff participate in the Foresight Program monthly trend update calls. X% staff participate in the #trends Slack channel. X% staff download the Future Today Institute’s annual trends report. X% staff request individual meetings/ advising time with the Future Today Institute. X% improvement in program/ product/ depart- ment iteration. OBJECTIVES QUANTITATIVE MEASURES QUALITATIVE MEASURES EXAMPLE 1-YEAR BENCHMARKS (to be set by your organization) LEADERSHIPREPUTATIONFINANCIAL Number of leadership team members who are recognized as thought leaders within the field. Number of earned media hits on how the organization/ leadership is setting the pace of the industry. Number of invitations received for senior leadership to talk about the future of the industry/ industry trends/ best practices. % of new applicants to open positions vs acceptance rate. % of new applicants that meet addi- tional quantitative criterion (particular kind of university; licenses held; patents filed). It’s obvious that every organization needs to plan for the future. Paradoxically, you must justify paying for strategic trends forecasting and advising in the present, well before you can measure your return on investment using the standard metrics. This scorecard offers a set of quantitative and qualitative measurements to better understand the value of forecasting and to help your organization evaluate a potential investment. MEASURING THE ROI OF FORECASTING Future Today Institute | futuretodayinstitute.com | 267.342.4300

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