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Flash Foresight: See the Invisible to Do the Impossible Kindle Edition

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Length: 309 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Burrus (Technotrends) has made a career of predicting the future of technological change, and in his latest work, he maintains that you too can develop œflash foresight—a œburst of insight about the future that produces a new and radically different way of doing something that will open up invisible opportunities and solve seemingly impossible problems. Burrus argues that we can enhance our intuitive sixth sense through systematic processes used by educators, scientists, governments, and companies like Crocs, Starbucks, and Amazon. œIt™s not guesswork or psychic ability, writes Burrus. œIt™s purely a question of knowing how and where to look, and taking the time to do the looking. Case studies bring the idea of flash foresight to life, such as how Netflix redefined the home movie industry or how Singapore envisioned its future and transformed itself from a tiny city with no natural resources into a sleek center of global commerce. 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. (Jan.)
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“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.”

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 18, 2011
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.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By sl0wl1k3m3 on February 22, 2013
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Donley on January 18, 2011
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Randy Gage on January 18, 2011
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
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