Joining us is Dr. Tamara Carleton. Tamara, thank you for joining us. Glad to be here. Thank you for inviting me. Tamara is the CEO of the Innovation Leadership Board and she works very closely with the Strategy and Foresight Lab at Stanford University. We're here to talk about strategic foresight. You have an existing product, how do you think through your customer and your product in three, five or ten years? And so Tamara, how do you do that? Well, Foresight gives you a way to think about the future with a little bit more intention. And the future horizon depends on what your team objectives are, any particular vision as well as the industry or space that you're working in. So if you're a car company, that's typically six to seven years. If you're doing aerospace work, well, that's anywhere 40 to 50 years. So a much longer range. Yeah. For startup teams, it's often what to do next week and how to get started. So we really look broadly across the spectrum. What's an example of how you do this? Well, let me share one of the tools that we use with thousands of teams around the world at Stanford with government groups, Navy Special Forces in the US and such. So this is a tool we call context maps and you can see here that I'm drawing in eight dimensions. The reason we call it a context map is simply to provide context and understand the big picture of what you're trying to do. It's an excellent tool to get started with, if you're exploring a new opportunity space. But if you're a team working on a large problem, you can use this tool to revisit what your group thinks is important and also use it as a way to capture a snapshot at the end of a particular engagement. So let's talk about a topic that I think is near and dear to both of us, Alex and that's learning. So as you develop context and talk about this with your team or the two of us, you're going to identify eight salient dimensions. What are the important topics for understanding your particular space? And particularly, the future opportunity for what you're trying to do. So in online marketing you might say, well, clearly, the channel, the format. You can make a note and say, it's online. Well, you got to consider the content. So there's something around the material with the substance. Now as we talk about adults, you also want to understand well, what's in it for me? Is there a particular objective, something that I want to try and aim for and gain as value for my learning. Well, let's say, your group continues talking. You might say, what about some of the benefits, flexibility? You can shift with online or onsite, there's still a value coming on campus to a place like Stanford or in Silicon Valley for learning. And so I might say, well, how are you going to do it? Now, I'm going to put down methodology. If you talk to a faculty member, they use fancy words like pedagogy. But what's the structure for the learning? Is there a particular rhythm to how you're learning? And so I might say, well, don't forget about the people involved. You've got an instructor potentially or a coach. There's the students, the learners and then you start to fill in the rest. So someone says, well, we're learning and particularly online and adults and professional development. There's a cost involved not just financial, could be time as well. There's other trade offs that you need to consider and then there might be another element. Sometimes you can leave it strategically blank as an invitation to take it to another team to say, what am I missing from this big picture? Alex, as I can put you on the spot, what might you had from your work? I would say, career that I think that as people live longer and the world changes faster, my daughter might have two or three careers over the course of her lifetime and online learning is a great way to help her transition and learn new skills. Perfect. And actually, I'll put down both skills and career, careers in the plural to say, this is part of what you want to look at. The reason context to value works is this gives you a fast view on what you're trying to understand and you realize, it's not a bulleted list. This is a tool that compliments brainstorming. It compliments mind mapping. This lets you have both enough, but not too little, so that you get a handle on what you're trying to do and this is one of the tools that we feature in our playbook for strategic foresight innovation. Alex, you know this is available free as a how to guide for teams. So something that could be added to the toolkit and the skill set, what people are already using as part of planning and anticipating tomorrow. One of the things that we like to close with is the top three list. What do you think are the top three things that a product manager should know about the value and the capabilities of strategic foresight? Goodness. Well, some of the things that come to my mind. One is that strategic foresight is partly a mindset. It's a willingness to invest and build the future that you'd like to live in. So it's very easy to accept the exciting Hollywood movies where everything is a dystopia and makes for better drama. But in the world we live in and the reason you teach these tools, Alex and why people come to UVA and to Stanford for this material is to create the world that they want and that is the importance of having the right mindset. Second important thing, I think is also having the skill set to go in hand. The context map is one of the skills and tools that you can use to develop. There's a whole set of other tools that you can use that are very light weight, easy to start with. Wonderful for working in a team structure. And so this is another way to get a jump ahead and understand how to plan, even today's chaos and embracing ambiguity by using these types of tools. And then I would say, the third is to really be collaborative. Take a partner approach. This is something that you can definitely do by yourself and solo, but I think it's much more effective and engaging when you can bring in other people. And so not only have your team take turns, holding the white board marker. But like I mentioned, leave one of these blank. Ask someone from the community, your customer group. What's the perspective we're not considering? In fact, one of the exercises that I do with others is say now, you've done your team view, do a second context map. But do it from the perspective of one of the user groups that gets impacted, policy maker, a new higher consumer. And then suddenly, you realize maybe not as much overlaps as it should or could and that's an important lesson to think about in terms of strategic foresight, either today or in terms of tomorrow. That's great and some great tips on managing the future. Thanks Tamara for joining us. Thank you.