From the Author
If I were to write this book again, I would probably be a little braver in hammering home the main message of the book: that the world is fundamentally unpredictable, so we need to forecast, not in order to prophesy the future, but to anticipate likely outcomes so as better to prepare for them.
The reason for this is that somewhat to my surprise, we find ourselves swimming with a strong tide of opinion within the academic forecasting community. For instance, the International Journal of Forecasting devoted half of their December 2009 issue to the topic of `decision making and planning under low levels of predictability' (it was edited by respected academic Spyros Makridakis and Nassim Taleb of `Black Swan' fame). Our analysis and prescriptions are very much in line with theirs, but with a stronger focus on practical application within organisations. Readers can therefore be confident that what we have to offer is new but also well grounded.
In summary, I am happy with what we have produced; I certainly would have welcomed this book when I was working in business. I am also absolutely confident that it can be improved on, and would welcome feedback from readers, either through the public forum of Amazon readers reviews or private correspondence.
- Steve Morlidge
From the Inside Flap
Written in an engaging and thought provoking style, Future Ready leads the reader to answers to questions such as: What makes a good forecast? What period should a forecast cover? How frequently should it be updated? What information should it contain? What is the best way to produce a forecast? How can you avoid gaming and other forms of data manipulation? How should a forecast be used? How do you ensure that your forecast is reliable? How accurate does it need to be? How should you deal with risk and uncertainty What is the best way to organize a forecast process? Do you need multiple forecasts? What changes should be made to other performance management processes to facilitate good forecasting? Future Ready is an invaluable guide for practicing managers and a source of insight and inspiration to leaders looking for better ways of doing things and to students of the science and craft of management. It is also a source of insight and inspiration to leaders looking for better ways to improve results. "Future Ready is a very timely call to action, challenging readers to rethink the many myths and practical flaws which bedevil their current approaches to forecasting and presenting a clear and radical blueprint for future success." – Paul Baumann, Director of Finance and Investment, NHS London "Studies continue to reveal that CFO teams around the globe have significant gaps in their planning and forecasting capabilities, exacerbated and exposed by the global recession. This book is a solutions–oriented approach to filling that gap." – Jeffrey C. Thomson, President and CEO, Institute of Management Accountants "Provides a clear eyed analysis of an essential business process that many of us don′t understand either as well or as in as much detail as we should. Moves beyond theory to the mechanics of designing and implementing a genuinely useful forecasting system." – Liz Doherty, CFO Brambles Ltd