Memories of the future
On the whole, the work is well done and deserves a separate post, which I'll provide in a day or two. One of the ideas in the white paper was so compelling I thought I needed to highlight it first. That was the concept of a "memory of the future".
What the authors meant by this was that companies that take steps to understand change and embrace the future before it arrives through scenario planning and careful consideration of the various likely scenarios will "rehearse" the future many times before it actually happens. This rehearsal will improve the anticipation of the events and the speed of the response. A memory of the future occurs when you recognize something as it is about to happen as something you've seen or done before, because you've practiced it or rehearsed it previously.
What the authors mean by this is that firms that spend time thinking about the future and the firm's likely role in those possible futures will be able to adapt and innovate more naturally because they've already rehearsed the things that are going to happen. This is something similar to the old saw that practice makes perfect, only in this case we are practicing things that may (or may not) happen at some point in the future, to prepare for them in case they do happen. If you think about the things you do well at work, they are probably things you do repeatedly and frequently. How often do you innovate frequently and repeatedly? Would you be better at it if you practiced? Could you identify trends and react quickly to them if you had a chance to constantly evaluate the future and examine different scenarios? I have to believe the answer is yes.