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Applied Futurism: The Pitch

I’m always looking for better ways to tell the story of applied futurism. The story itself is always evolving. If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll know this. Every now and again I have another run at telling the story in a post.

Yesterday I came across this post on Mediumhttps://medium.com/firm-narrative/want-a-better-pitch-watch-this-328b95c2fd0b

It’s by Andy Raskin, a man with plenty of experience helping start-ups tell their stories. In it he analyses Elon Musk’s pitch for the Tesla Powerwall as a means to highlight the five key steps in any pitch.

Given that our business model is still evolving, I’m going to say Book of the Future still qualifies as a start-up after nearly three years (ignore the previous six years it existed as a blog).

Here’s a written version of our pitch, following these five steps.


#1 Name the Enemy

Our enemy is failure. In an increasingly uncertain world, in a constant state of technological transformation, organisations fail fast.

And not in the good, start-up way.

We beat failure by helping leaders to see their destiny early, and change it.

#2 Why Now?

Years of business theory has been based on doing what you do, just better. Iterative improvements in process, cost and quality. This is fine when your business model is going to survive twenty or thirty years.

But what if it only survives two or three years?

Every optimisation locks you further into what you do today. Every investment in the status quo makes it harder to fundamentally change the organisation.

Tomorrow’s successful leaders will build organisations that are engineered for constant transformation.

#3 The Promised Land

Imagine an organisation comprised of operational Lego bricks, interlocking components that can be rapidly reassembled to meet each new challenge.

Imagine a leader empowered with the tools of foresight to see challenges early.

We aim to provide leaders with the tools and training to create and run these organisations.

And we’re already half way there. We’ve built a completely new foresight tool to help leaders see the future, and a tool to help them tell that story.

Most importantly, we’ve created and tested with real companies a framework for building agile organisations.

#4 Obstacles

Applied Futurism makes people uncomfortable. People don’t like change and we’re telling people that change is not an event now, it’s a state. It’s constant.

Applied Futurism isn’t something you can buy to solve a problem once. It’s something you have to do. And behaviour change is hard.

But we believe the realities of the market — and the public sector environment — will leave leaders with little choice. They will either adapt, using our tools or others, or they will fail.

#5 Evidence

We’ve now trained over 150 people in using our foresight tool, through the Institute of Leadership and Management and direct client engagements. Some of those people are self-taught, having purchased the tool direct from our website.

We’ve just used our Stratification framework for agile organisations to re-design a £200m business.

Our tools are gaining acceptance. And more and more leaders are coming to accept the nature of the environment in which they will be operating for the next few decades. An environment that demands a new approach. Applied Futurism.

Tom Cheesewright