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Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible: Seven Radical Principles That Will Transform Your Business
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Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible: Seven Radical Principles That Will Transform Your Business

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  355 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Flash Foresight offers seven radical principles you need to transform your business today. From internationally renowned technology forecaster Daniel Burrus a leading consultant to Google, Proctor & Gamble, IBM, and many other Fortune 500 firms with John David Mann, co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Go-Giver, comes this systematic, easy-to-implement metho ...more
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by HarperBusiness (first published December 29th 2010)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  355 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Start your review of Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible: Seven Radical Principles That Will Transform Your Business
Mike Gibbs
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent book about how to take advantage of the pockets of certainty that we have regarding the future. Burrus does a great job of pointing out different trends that are sure to continue into the future (such as increased mobility, bandwidth, and convergence of features that used to be standalone products into a single product) to use as a way of predicting where the future will lead.

Probably the best takeaway from this book that I had was to remember that when it comes to planning
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: financeinvesting
This is one of those books where I was "Is this complete bull or is this really insightful?"

A little bit of both.

Out of his seven "radical principles", 4 of them seemed bogus:


Well duh! OF COURSE one should try to anticipate the future and take appropriate action.

Not exactly a sizzling insight Mr. Futurist. I guess every single book has to have SEVEN principles no matter what.

But the remaining 3 were kind of interesting:

(1) Start with certainty.
Look at what the "
Yiii Yi
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't really believe that one person can foresee the future. Predictive power is a later explanation.

But the core of this book is to tell me how we should foresee the future, how to make ourselves more flexible, and how to be able to have a little confidence in the future. Among them, the first point that touched me the most was that it said that you should base your prediction of the future on the pursuit of certainty. This sentence makes me think it is quite reliable.

For example, Bezos onc
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I skimmed large parts of this book as a result of it being somewhat uninteresting, and zeroed in on parts that I found unique.

Much of the wisdom this book offers seems patently obvious, but then again, how often do we forget the things that are painfully obvious and continue to make the same mistakes? There are numerous decently analyzed case studies, a small number of which the author played a direct role in; these are nice but I found they only loosely illustrated the concepts that Burrus elab
Shashidhar A.v.b
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book to read if you want to innovate. It gives you amazing tools to approach innovative solutions to problems. You can use the techniques in the book to apply for any problem. It can be a engineering problem or it can be social problem. With the tools given in there you can always arrive at a solution that is futuristic and innovative.
Mike Corso
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent approach to business building. The six or seven main pillars are given too many examples but if you just keep reviewing the essences (anticipate...transform/reinvent....go opposite...etc) you'll manage your own business with more intelligence and ... foresight ;)
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, future
One of the most interesting books ive ever read about how to look at- and even conceptually predict the future. A great example is that we all know re-activeness and pro-activeness, but then Daniel teaches you pre-activeness, a way to foresee the future based on analyzing and anticipating hard/soft trends.

Very inspiring :)
Rich Schuette
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not often you pick up one of these books and get your idea and motivation. This one did it for me
Enrique Romero
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The world does not come with crystal balls. This book will help you get the feel for how to see what is on the horizon before it is on the horizon.
Murali Krishna
It gives a structure for u think whenever ur facing a problem hat requires a disruptive solution
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible by Daniel Burrus and John David Mann was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2011.


Attempting to see into the future of business is a bit like interpreting the quatrains of the 16th century “seer” Nostradamus. The predictions are often varied and can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) in numerous ways. In Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossib
Bill Palmer
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Predict the future with confidence! You can, according to Daniel Burrus, and you won’t need a crystal ball or tarot cards. With a little training, you’ll be able to identify the “hard trends” that will shape your industry. At the same time, you’ll unearth the opportunities of the future.

In Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible, Burrus provides the reader with what he dubs as seven “radical principles” that conjure up the flash foresights of the future. He developed this
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I heard Mr. Burrus at an IT service management conference this year (Pink15). He was exceptionally interesting so I picked up his book. His ideas on hard and soft trending, getting rid of rear-view mirrors, stop worrying about information and constantly driving home the pace of change requires us to constantly change were really thoughtful. I appreciated his insight regarding less cooperation and more collaboration. He makes a compelling argument for changes to our education system, why competit ...more
Bill Hunter
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Not sure what all the hype is about. Some good points but I found it clunky and a lot of the concepts in the taxonomy presented are reverse engineered into very shallow 'real life' examples.

Burrus is obviously very accomplished and I don't think the book conveys what he's all about very week which is a pity.

The book spends 80% of it's time on some pretty obvious technological 'foresights' and only 20% on the art of strategic foresight itself. Would have loved to have seen more actual methodologi
Mbogo J
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
These books with sentence length titles promising heaven are a notorious lot. It's like they know that if they don't sell in the title, no one is going to buy them. Not forgetting they rehash the obvious and give them catchy names and call that hot air "insight". I normally give them a wide berth.
With this one,goodreads kept suggesting it to me based on my previous reads until I finally gave up and read it. It is an amazing book. It does suffer from the follies of its cousins in rehashing the ob
Nov 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: how-to, business
I heard Burrus speak at the Vistage Michigan CEO Summit in September. The book overlaps with his talk a fair bit, and is a good refresher if you've heard him speak and introduction if you have not.
He illustrates his process with anecdotes/mini-case-studies from familiar (= big name) companies such as Apple, Maytag, Amazon, Zappos, as well as the Detroit Public School District and some other educational settings.
His action steps at the end of most chapters are useful, otherwise it is easy to let
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this as an audio book and kept wishing I had a highlighter handy. There was enough interesting points that were pertinent to my accounting business that I found it beneficial particularly when he talked about dematerialization This as definitely impacted my firm in the past 4 years.

He also encouraged me to ask better questions regarding the future of the firm and how I would like to see technology change the way I do business
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
A colleague who I respect recommended this book saying it had significantly influenced his way of thinking. I picked it up and wasn't disappointed. There is tremendous insight into understanding the future and being able to proverbially move to where the pick will be by looking at hard and soft trends.

In today's ever accelerating environment, one needs to constantly change to keep up let alone get ahead. Flash Foresight shows how to thrive in this environment.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: already
Burrus highlights some key frameworks for where technology is taking us in the future. A lot of his examples are inspiring, and a lot of them are slightly obvious. Nevertheless, Burrus has some very valuable points in this book and it is worth reading for anyone either in business or interested in technology.
Teri Temme
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is guaranteed to change your thinking about the future. It lays out the strategy and steps to "see" the future. Fascinating. And because I love learning this is one of my favorite quotes: "...the simple physics of it: when you share a physical resource with someone else, your own store depletes - but when you share knowledge, it increases."
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: future-studies
Typical business book. The substance could be summed up in a few sentences but then the authors go on and on with their examples with so-called clients like Billy Bob whom they're always having lunch with. If you want a more serious read on foresight there are better books around.
Jason Vanzin
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This was a very good book about how to stay ahead in the ever changing landscape in which we live. It was chalk full of examples and great insights. Now I have to go back through and take notes on all the parts I highlighted.
Pravin Boddu
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting perspectives.
May be, I have applied some of them already.
Hopefully, in future when faced with a challenging problem, I will have a "Click moment" with one of the strategies from "Flash Foresight"
I liked that he kept all concepts and stories to the point...
Shimron Trammell
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Burrus may be a bit annoying to some but I found his insights into how to think about "what's next" amazing. A definite read if you are in the product development field or you just want to think about ways to do things better.
Larry Rinaldi
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The insights in this book are plentiful and beyond relevant fornour times. Daniel Burrus shares his experience, knowledge, and ingenious insights about how to live in the future by living today and cultivating flash foresight! I wish everyone could read this book.
Not bad

There is some useful information regarding what you need to be looking at and how to go about coming up with a prognosis for the future. Some things are glossed over, though, and should be fleshed out in better detail, like how to identify hard trends.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it
while this book for provide a good framework and background on how to make decisions based upon hard and soft decisions, I feel that the author seemed to come across as cocky at times. Good predictions about the future of technology and how it will continue to impact our lives.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Terrific book for transforming your business to take advantage of the numerous tech/social/environmental changes ahead. An inspiring read.
Brent Mair
Jan 25, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: abandoned
I made it to page 97 and I think the book will be valuable to me but I've lost interest at this time.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
good brain caffeine...!
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Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker.

He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovat

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“It used to be that the big eat the small; now it’s the fast that eat the slow. Fast is the new big.” 2 likes
“To a startling extent, in other words, our vision of the future is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Change your view of the future, and you direct your future.” 0 likes
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