FutureMap at a Glance
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes.
Many maps are static two-dimensional, geometrically accurate representations of three-dimensional space, while others are dynamic or interactive, even three-dimensional. Although most commonly used to depict geography, maps may represent any space, real or imagined, without regard to context or scale; e.g. Brain mapping, DNA mapping, and extraterrestrial mapping.
FutureMap is a map “representing imagined space” of emerging trends and future innovations. Without such map, one cannot confidently “travel” into the unknown future. Of course, when trends are stable, any expert can confidently extrapolate into the future, “Tomorrow we will improve our products in the same way we did it yesterday.” However, when traveling in “dangerous waters” of industry-wide crisis, such “extrapolations” increase risk of crash rather than provide safe guidance. In extraordinary crisis times the FutureMap that overtly shows the emerging trends is more reliable and safer than “industry expertise.”
As we already discussed, the FutureMap should deliver to the decision-maker visually organized information about emerging trends and future innovations.
First of all, we should define the term “trend.” The Free Dictionary defines this term as follows:
1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
2. A general tendency or inclination.
Based on this definition, we could define the “emerging trend of improvements” as follows:
The Emerging Trend of Improvements of an outcome involved in satisfaction of a customers’ need is a general tendency of step-by-step changes in accomplishment of this outcome from current paradigm toward the new paradigm.
As any map, the FutureMap should have the system of coordinates. As you can see on the next page, the Latitude on this map is represented with horizontal lines of individual trends for each major outcome of Underlying Process, while Longitude is represented with vertical columns of Current Paradigm, Emerging Trend and New Paradigm.
Hence, “travel” along the FutureMap Latitude would represent the evolution of satisfying an individual Outcome, while “travel” along the FutureMap Longitude would represent the satisfaction of the entire Need.
Since we can consider each outcome in Underlying Process – and its improvements – individually and independently, we can predict future innovations “outcome-by-outcome,” and only then combine them into the Whole Products, i.e. into the new ways to satisfy the entire need. Hence, we can build the so-called FutureMap in the following “coordinates”:
We place outcomes of Underlying Process on the vertical “coordinate” of this map; the horizontal coordinate is, “from Today into the Future.” Accomplishment of outcomes 1-3 provides satisfaction of customers’ need. The left column represents outcomes of Underlying Process of satisfaction of the need; second column displays the Current Paradigm of satisfaction of the need; right (fifth) column illustrates the Ideal Vision of satisfaction of the need, i.e. conditions when inherent limitations that caused the industry crisis do not exist anymore; fourth column shows the new paradigm of satisfaction of the need that realized the Ideal Vision; and middle column presents the Emerging Trends of Improvements of each outcome.