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Airmic regularly carries out research, and publishes the results in the form of reports, guides and benchmarking documents.

Horizon Scanning: A Practical Guide


Airmic, Barnett Waddingham 4th June 2024


Horizon scanning for organisational development purposes is research that looks forward at possible events in time, with an emphasis on the medium to long term. Just as objects on the earthly horizon are unclear and lack visible detail, so are many events we may see when we look forward.

This simple analogy is so powerful that the term ‘horizon scanning’ has been adopted in organisations as a label for this forward-looking activity. Of course, organisations are always looking at future events but when using the term horizon scanning, the emphasis of the research is towards the medium and long term.

Looking forward to understand the challenges and opportunities that may arise in any organisation’s future is difficult. Still, it is a feature of good planning and increasingly an expectation of stakeholders and regulators under good governance rules.

Developing this future view is often called developing ‘foresight’, and horizon scanning, in the organisational use of the term, is the action part of an organisation’s process of looking forward and informing that foresight view.

Horizon Scanning: A Practical Guide
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