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Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible [Hardcover]

Daniel Burrus
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Mar 2011

Flash Foresight offers seven radical principles you need to transform your business today. From internationally renowned technology forecaster Daniel Burrus—a leading consultant to Google, Proctor & Gamble, IBM, and many other Fortune 500 firms—with John David Mann, co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Go-Giver, comes this systematic, easy-to-implement method for identifying new business opportunities and solving difficult problems in the twenty-first century marketplace.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (3 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061922293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061922299
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“The ability to see trends and identify future opportunities is a skill anyone can benefit from - and Burrus’s latest work is a valuable introduction to the fundamentals.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A welcome jolt of optimism.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Flash Foresight is transformational reading. Burrus has provided a brilliant blueprint for mapping the problems and solutions both of the present and the future. He may also have given us one of the best business books to be written in a long time.” (Business Lexington)

“Full of provocative insights and powerful strategies from a veteran entrepreneur. The ‘Take Your Biggest Problem - and Skip It’ chapter alone is worth the price of admission.” (Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes and CEO of Forbes Inc.)

“Superbly written and thoroughly researched, Flash Foresight equips the reader with seven valuable principles that provide uniquely effective strategies to grow personally as well as professionally.” (Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Leader in Me)

“I love this book! It’s as much fun to read as it is inspiring to learn from. Buy it, read it, and put it to use-in a flash!”Alan M. Webber, co-founder, Fast Company (Alan M. Webber, co-founder, Fast Company)

“With the increasing pressure to innovate and gain competitive advantages, leaders from start-ups to multi-national organizations will find deep insights from the seven principles of Flash Foresight. It will change the way you think about your current obstacles and open your mind to limitless new opportunities.” (Terry Jones, founder Travelocity.com and Chairman of Kayak.com)

“After reading Flash Foresight and applying the principles to our business, in less than a year we have been able to double our revenues and increase the value of our company by a factor of four.” (Arnie Bellini, CEO, ConnectWise)

“Fascinating! A powerful competitive weapon that cuts through the clutter, Flash Foresight shows you what you need to do to survive and thrive in the challenging times that lie ahead.” (Rear Admiral David Bill III, USN (Ret.), Executive Director of Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) FoundationRear Admiral David Bill III, USN (Ret.), Executive Director of Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) FoundationRear Admiral David Bill III, USN (Ret)

“Flash Foresight provides a flight plan through turbulence and a provocative window to the future that will stimulate a great amount of innovation and positive change.” (Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines)

“Flash Foresight is a revolutionary book that offers the insights and strategies leaders will need to profit from the transformational times ahead.” (Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There)

“What if you could predict the future? Reinvent the way you solve problems? Skip over an obstacle and get right to the finish line? Read Flash Foresight and let Daniel Burrus show you how. The possibilities are infinite.” (Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level)

“Flash Foresight is all about accelerating business and personal growth, showing you how to see major hidden opportunities, skip over the most difficult problems, and using the power of certainty to transform your business and your life. I highly recommend it!” (Jack Canfield, co-author of The Success Principles and of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul® series)

“For a quarter century Daniel Burrus has made a science out of showing individuals, companies and organizations how to discover the limitless potential of their own future. Flash Foresight is an outstanding blueprint for innovation and success!” (Anthony Robbins, author, entrepreneur and peak performance strategist)

“In uncertain times, foresight needs to be 20/20. Daniel Burrus’ visionary concepts shed new light on the strategies that will keep your business looking bright.” (Harvey Mackay, author of Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive)

“Flash Foresight is filled with powerful stories that teach readers how to get bursts of insight about the future that reveal hidden opportunities and provide real solutions to what were seemingly impossible problems. I highly recommend it!” (Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, producer of The Color Purple, Rain Man, and Gorillas in the Mist)

“Flash Foresight, is full of powerful, useful, easy-to-understand-and-apply principles for discovering and inventing the future....When you are finished, you’ll never see the future in the same way again.” (Joel Barker, author of Paradigms, the Business of Discovering the Future)

“A must-read for leaders in both business and education, Flash Foresight provides provocative insights that will intrigue and inspire your professional and personal life.” (Dr. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University, Chairman of Great Harvest Bread Co.)

“This book is nothing short of a revelation. A must-read for any thought leader and all those who aspire to be.” (Joe Calloway, author of Becoming a Category of One)

“I always get great insights from Daniel Burrus, and his new book, Flash Foresight, does not disappoint! Not only will it help you create a brighter future, it will also give you tools and ideas for living better today. I highly recommend it.” (Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor and You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader)

“This book is extraordinary! A brilliant must-read for any executive who chooses to play big and not settle for incremental improvement. This book could create a worldwide transformation.” (Roxanne Emmerich, author of Thank God It's Monday! How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love)

“If people had understood and applied the strategies in Flash Foresight, we might have avoided some of the trials and tribulations of recent times. Here’s to a brighter future for everyone who reads and uses Daniel’s book.” (Tom Hopkins, author of Selling in Tough Times)

“Flash Foresight is chock-full of examples showing how organizations of all sizes have applied Burrus’s seven powerful principles to do seemingly impossible things. A fast read that will prime the pump for any entrepreneur or organization ready to transform their product or service.” (Dianna Booher, author of The Voice of Authority and Communicate with Confidence!)

From the Back Cover

Today we all face more impossible challenges than ever before. But flash foresight lets you transform the impossible into the possible, revealing hidden opportunities and allowing you to solve your biggest problems—before they happen.

Daniel Burrus is one of the world's leading forecasters, corporate strategists, and visionaries. Over the past quarter century, he has established a reputation worldwide for his exceptional record of accurately predicting the future of technological change and its direct impact on the business world.

"Wouldn't it be amazing if you could predict the future—and be right?" writes Burrus. "You can: all you have to do is leave out the parts you could be wrong about! And the amazing thing is, when you know where to look, there's more than enough you can be right about to make all the difference."

From small businesses to multinationals, individual careers to entire industries, Flash Foresight looks at how Burrus's seven radical flash foresight "triggers" have transformed dozens of careers, fortunes, and lives. Both engaging and enlightening, Flash Foresight provides an easy-to-implement blueprint for applying the same strategies to your own business, enabling you to see the invisible and do the impossible.

In the past, flash foresight was useful. Today, as the pace of technological change accelerates almost beyond the point of comprehension, it's an imperative.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serendipity "on the other side of complexity" 18 Jan 2011
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
In this book written with John David Mann, Daniel Burrus discusses a skill that uses "the data of your five senses, as well as that intuitive sixth sense we all have that some call a gut feeling or hunch. But flash foresight goes further, because in using it you synthesize those sensory and intuitive faculties and project them forward through the dimensions of time. A flash foresight is a blinding flash of the future obvious. It is an intuitive grasp of the foreseeable future that, once you see it, it reveals hidden opportunities and allows you to solve your biggest problems - before they happen. Flash foresight will allow anyone to both see and shape his or her future."

How valuable would someone be to an organization if she or he mastered that skill? How valuable would a team be if all of its members had mastered that skill? How to do that? Burrus explains the process in his book.

More specifically, he suggests that there are seven "triggers," any one or several of which can produce a flash foresight:

1. Start with Certainty (i.e. identify and verify hard trends)
2. Anticipate (i.e. determine degree of probability of relevant contingencies)
3. Transform (i.e. leverage technology-driven change)
4. Skip what you think is your biggest problem (in fact, it isn't...and never was)
5. Go opposite (e.g. look where no one else does, see what no one else sees, do what no one else does)
6. Redefine and reinvent (i.e. leverage your unique strengths in new and better ways)
7. Direct your future (or have someone else will do it for you)

Zappos offers an excellent example.
Read more ›
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By Barbara
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i highly recommend this book to all in leadership roles,also those with businesses internet related or otherwise ..other friends in leadership roles have bought too upon recommendation..its totally intriguing ..thank you so much.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Does not live up to the potential of the title 15 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I baled out at Page 19. The author is very full of how clever he is but I found nothing original. Nor did I find anything unoriginal but well-explained, which I would also have valued. Yes, pages 20 thru 264 may be chock full of brilliant insights - but I only have one life and I prefer to invest my time where I will get better odds than this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flash Foresight 24 Jan 2012
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
If you're like most people, you're trying to deal with the changes life throws at you every day, and you could use some help planning for the future. Consultants and business authors Daniel Burrus and John David Mann show you how to read the seeds of the future in the present. They demonstrate how to regard innovations as components of the future you've already foreseen, and how to innovate more successfully. As the subtitle says, Burrus and Mann believe you can learn to "do the impossible." getAbstract recommends their enthusiasm and vision to innovators, leaders and to anyone planning ahead.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  62 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serendipity "on the other side of complexity" 18 Jan 2011
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In this book written with John David Mann, Daniel Burrus discusses a skill that uses "the data of your five senses, as well as that intuitive sixth sense we all have that some call a gut feeling or hunch. But flash foresight goes further, because in using it you synthesize those sensory and intuitive faculties and project them forward through the dimensions of time. A flash foresight is a blinding flash of the future obvious. It is an intuitive grasp of the foreseeable future that, once you see it, it reveals hidden opportunities and allows you to solve your biggest problems - before they happen. Flash foresight will allow anyone to both see and shape his or her future."

How valuable would someone be to an organization if she or he mastered that skill? How valuable would a team be if all of its members had mastered that skill? How to do that? Burrus explains the process in his book.

More specifically, he suggests that there are seven "triggers," any one or several of which can produce a flash foresight:

1. Start with Certainty (i.e. identify and verify hard trends)
2. Anticipate (i.e. determine degree of probability of relevant contingencies)
3. Transform (i.e. leverage technology-driven change)
4. Skip what you think is your biggest problem (in fact, it isn't...and never was)
5. Go opposite (e.g. look where no one else does, see what no one else sees, do what no one else does)
6. Redefine and reinvent (i.e. leverage your unique strengths in new and better ways)
7. Direct your future (or have someone else will do it for you)

Zappos offers an excellent example. Its leaders were certain that online sales would continue to increase and that it was probable that the process of purchasing commodities would be more important to the consumer than the products themselves would be. They concluded that the most efficient operations (e.g. order processing) would be driven by high technology and that returns rather than sizing was its biggest problem. They defied conventional wisdom that that selling shoes online could not be profit. Until Zappos, that was true.

As for #6, consider these comments by CEO Tony Hsieh: "We hope that ten years from now, people won't even realize that we started out selling shoes online, and that when you say `Zappos,' they'll think, `Oh, that's the place with the absolute best service.' And that doesn't even have to be limited to being an online experience. We've had customers email us and ask if we would please start an airline or run the IRS."

Years ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes said that he "didn't care a fig about simplicity this side of complexity" but that he would "give his life for simplicity on the other side of complexity." Daniel Burrus would make the same claim for serendipity. I think his Flash Foresight may well prove to be the best business book published in 2011. Is it that good? Yes.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The people who read this book will end up with your marketshare 19 Jan 2011
By J. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
.
I read a lot of leadership books and you sometimes have to wade through a lot of mediocre books to get to a jewel. Flash Foresight is definitely a jewel. So good that I have sent it to clients and I will read it again.

This book makes you think in the same manner that the essays in Malcolm Gladwell's "What the Dog Saw" makes you think. More importantly it provides a systematic approach to conquer the challenges addressed in the book.

If I had to pick one phrase from the book that communicates its essence it would be what the author describes as the new golden rule of business "If it can be done, it will be done... If you don't do it, someone else will."

The question that remains unanswered is "are you or your company that someone who will do it?" Will you have and act on the Flash Foresight as he defines it "a blinding flash of the future obvious."

BOOK STRUCTURE

The author does a good job of summarizing the action steps from each chapter allowing the busy executive to quickly gather the content. Even though the summarized actions are well written, reading the entire chapter is still well worth it to get the context. Excellent use of examples from industry and the authors experience with references are provided when appropriate.

The author provides a systematic approach with seven "foresight triggers" and eight "pathways of technological advancement." He develops this approach in a manner that facilitates execution of his process because he judiciously incorporates a common understanding of the terms and premises on which they are built. These include: cyclic change, linear change, soft trends, hard trends, the three digital accelerators, and transformation.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

In order to gain "Flash Foresight" the author advocates spending an hour each week addressing "What are you certain about? What are the hard trends of your future, versus the soft trends? What are the permanent, linear changes and what are the cyclical changes? How are the three digital accelerators and eight pathways of technology driven transformation going to affect your life and work?...What are the problems you are going to have tomorrow, next week, next month? A few years down the road? What are the problems your kids, your spouse, your employees, your associates, your customers are going to have? Even better, what are the future problems of those people who are not yet your customers but will be if you have solutions to their problems by the time they happen?"

INTERESTING POINTS

Here are a few excerpts that resonated with me.

1. "Either/or" thinking assumes a zero-sum game, in which the pie is fixed size and emerging technologies-or emerging markets-must necessarily threaten the existence of the old. But that's not reality...The principle of "both/and" tells us that the new and the old will continue to coexist side by side.

2. ...one clear dependable strategy for staying ahead of the curve is to create in yourself and in your company or organization a habit of continuously decommoditizing. Anything and everything can become a commodity; and any product or service can be decommoditized. [Yes, he does provide examples]

3. ...there will be no recovery, no going back-only a surge forward into a very different world.

4. Not long ago, a CEO of a large company told me he was reluctant to spend the money to upgrade his people's skills. "What if I do," he said, "and then they leave?"..."I see your point," I responded. "But what if you don't-and then they stay?"

5. ...The organizations that are succeeding today are those that have learned how to fail fast-and who do not fail to learn.

6. Here is the question you need to ask yourself: "In order to speed up, am I willing to slow down?"

CONCLUSION

This book ends very powerfully with the author providing a real example of how he used the process from a blank slate to create a successful product with a minimum of overhead. This book not only will re-frame your thinking but you can use it as a tool to re-frame the thinking of those around you. This book is beyond a good idea, beyond an academic's theory... it is a practitioner's framework that can be built upon to drive personal and business success.

Dr. James T. Brown, PMP PE CSP
Author - The Handbook of Program Management
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Business book, in futurist clothing 23 Feb 2013
By sl0wl1k3m3 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The 7 concepts are sound but they are little more than a platform for Burrus to brag about some great advice he gave a client. If you watched any of the hype for this book on YouTube you've already heard the examples in the first three chapters. His explanation of hard and soft trends is good (but he fails to give more than one example of a hard trend - boomer birth rates) and the technology drivers are helpful, but later chapters are just rehashed business thinking. He also fails to define the "300 known cycles).

Do yourself a favor and skim till you get to the actual premise of each chapter, skip all the gloating and follow the chapter summaries.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creating the Future 19 Jan 2011
By Randy Gage - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dan is flat out brilliant and John David Mann is an extraordinary wordsmith. Putting the two together made magic. I got to read a galley copy and I was blown away. The insights about how to harness the future can produce extraordinary results for you. You'll love this book!

-RG
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trending the Future Here and NOW!!! 18 Jan 2011
By Brian J. Donley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great Worldly Advice:

Know what to look for and change your perception about the future. Wii, XBox 360, Nintendo - Teachers of the Future? My children would vote a very strong YES!!!

Excellent advice and wisdom on investment in companies that will still be around. Read and understand how your future will be impacted by decisions others make or you make!

Flash Foresight receives Donley's Five Star W.O.W. (Words of Wisdom) Award.

Congratulations Daniel and John - The lives you touch through your written words will assist others and create opportunities that will make this world a greater place!

Brian J. Donley
Author: The Original Psychology of Success - Proven Methods to Attain a Positive, Powerful Winning Personality
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