Corporate foresight for strategic innovation management: the case of a Russian service company
This paper aims to provide a detailed case study of a corporate foresight for innovation (CFI) project done by the Higher School of Economics’ (HSE) (Moscow, Russia) corporate foresight (CF) unit for a large state-owned Russian service company. It demonstrates how CFI methods lead to recommendations and how these recommendations result in decisions.
Drawing from being part of the project team, review of the project documents and interviews, the case describes a multi-phased CFI project which incorporated several CF methods. Techniques used for the project itself included grand challenges and trend analysis, analysis of best practices through use of benchmarking and horizon scanning, interviews, expert panels, wild card and weak signals analysis, cross impact analysis, SWOT and backcasting. The project used a broad-base of secondary information, expert panels consisting of company experts and HSE CF team personnel, interviews with senior management and an extensive literature review using HSE’s propriety iFORA system.
In all 17 CFI recommendation and over 100 implementation recommendations were made; 94 per cent of the CFI recommendations were accepted with most implemented at the time this case was written. The case also identifies five enabling factors that collectively both helped the CFI project and led to a high rate of recommendation acceptance and one factor that hindered CFI project success.
The case study provides detailed information and insight that can help others in conducting CF for innovation projects and establishes a link between CF methods and innovation-based recommendations and subsequent decisions.
In-depth case studies that show academe and practitioners how CFI leads to recommendations and is linked to subsequent decisions have been identified as a gap in the literature. This paper therefore seeks to address this need by presenting a detailed CF case for a corporate innovation project.