Targets examines potential, rich target industries, sectors, products or services to develop.

Uses of the method

  • Determining potential market opportunities to develop or enter
  • Identifying less attractive opportunities or threats to avoid or exit


  • Economic growth
  • Better focus on high potential markets
  • Insurance against making fundamental and disastrous investments or missing the best opportunities


  • Likely to need expert researcher input
  • Can be costly and time-consuming

Steps to complete

  • Begin by identifying a short-list of interesting sectors through using this method to elicit participant or clients interests. Do not look at all sectors; instead identify sectors that are of interest to participants and clients and conduct a short, desk researched  Shallow Dive to ensure all sectors in the interest space are included. Do not question participants or clients rationale at this stage other than to encourage a focused, but broad approach or endeavor to do detailed desk research.
  • Set up each identified Sector as an Issue, add to a new Report and write a short brief on each covering how attractive this sector might be in the future.
  • Then conduct a Delphi analysis amongst participants to identify the ten most promising sectors in their minds over an agreed time horizon.
  • Conduct a Deep Dive on the top trends, uncertainties and potential surprises likely to effect these sectors in the future and identify the driving forces and key threats. Consider all political, economic, social, technological and environmental drivers.
  • Now forecast how these driving forces and threats will likely impact on each sector over the chosen timeframe using our system.
  • Review the forecast output by discussing the results and determining which sectors are worthy of more in-depth Deep Dives and further forecasting of opportunities and risks.
  • Determine the fixed elements (almost certain hard trends) that will inform your strategic response: slow-changing phenomena e.g. demographic shifts, constrained situations e.g. resource limits, in the pipeline e.g. aging of baby boomers, inevitable collisions e.g. climate change arguments.
  • Capture critical variables i.e. uncertainties, soft trends and potential surprises. Both these and the fixeded elements will be key to creating scenarios and examining potential future paradigm shifts.
  • Capture unique insight into new ways of seeing that can be utilized by the organization.
  • What conclusions can we draw from the exercise(s)?
    • How might the future be different?
    • How does A affect B?
    • What is likely to remain the same or change significantly?
    • What are the likely outcomes?
    • What and who will likely shape our future?
    • Where could we be most affected by change?
    • What might we do about it?
    • What don't we know that we need to know?
    • What should we do now, today?
    • Why do we care?
    • When should we aim to meet on this?
  • Finish by noting your next steps. Next steps could include a further round of iteration, a recommendation on how to get the answers or use of other research and methods such as 'Starburst' to create more vantage points on the issue.

This method and your response can be shared with other members or kept private using the 'Privacy' field and through the 'Tag', 'Report' and 'Forum' functionalities. Use 'Tag' and/or 'Report' to aggregate your analyzes, or add a 'Forum' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.

Click the 'Invite tab to send invitations to other members or non-members (colleagues, external experts etc.) to ask for their input. You can whether or not you want anonymous responses.  These can be viewed and exported within the Responses tab.

Contact us
Even with all the advice and tools we have provided here starting a foresight project from scratch can be a daunting prospect to a beginner. Let us know if you need help with this method or want a group facilitation exercise or full project or program carrying out by us. We promise to leave behind more internal knowledgeable people who can expand your initiative for better organizational performance.

Contact us today for a free discussion on your needs.

Are there other enhancements or new methods you would like to see here? Let us know and we will do our best to respond with a solution quickly.

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