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Managers as visionaries: a skill that can be learned

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PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate whether visionary management be learned. Design/methodology/approachThe author, an experienced futurist, asks and answers the question, "Can visionary management be learned?" FindingsThe paper finds that new research suggests that managers can develop skills associated with successful visionaries. Practical implicationsOne particularly important aspect of visionary management is the use of intuition, which experts describe as unconscious pattern recognition. The pattern recognition of trends for futurists and visionaries needs to be based on high quality information and disciplined imagination. An excellent approach to pattern recognition is the use of scenarios for anticipating and planning for the future. Scenarios prepared according to best practices share certain characteristics that provide high quality information and disciplined imagination. Originality/valueThe scenario method certainly can be learned by managers to the extent that they include information and pattern recognition within a prescribed rigor, scenarios are a viable way to teach intuitional skills to managers. These skills of intuition expand the manager's capability to become visionary.
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Keywords: Futuring; Leadership; Management intuition; Pattern recognition; Planning; Product development; Scenarios; Visionary management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 6, 2011

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