Anticipatory Leadership and Strategic Foresight: Five ‘Linked Literacies’

by John Ratcliffe & Luke Ratcliffe


We live, as is so often said, in volatile, uncertain, complex, changing and ambiguous times. The
world of the future will demand capacities that currently comprise mere options. There will be a
need for new ways of thinking, planning, directing, communicating and managing; with a critical
component common to them all—‘anticipatory leadership’. Quintessentially, such leadership relates
to the future and is concerned with transforming the ‘mind-set’ of those engaged in policy formulation
and plan implementation. Our concept-oriented paper seeks to identify five linking ‘anticipatory
literacies’: Awareness; Authenticity; Audacity; Adaptability; and Action. It concludes with a call
to the Professional Futures Community and the world’s leading Business Schools to collaborate in
creating a ‘Grand Transformation’ in their collective mind-sets inspired by Anticipatory Leadership
through Strategic Foresight.

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