Even the experts use a Babylonian confusion of language concerning the most important concepts and terms on the future. Hardly anyone clearly differentiates between imagined, possible, plausible, surprising, creatable, desired and planned futures. Everyone defines trend, scenario, forecast, assumption, opportunity, vision and discontinuity in a different way.
We are lacking a coherent language for the phenomena of the future. This results in serious problems and disadvantages:
- There are many misunderstandings in communication and in analyses. The misunderstandings are often not even discovered. A future strategy based on misunderstandings is dangerous.
- Discussions are full of conflict and annoyance because those involved do not notice that they are thinking and speaking using different definitions.
- The statements by futures researcher and trend researchers are all understood to be forecasts with no differentiation, although most of these are rather statements on possible, potentially surprising or creatable futures, with absolutely no claim to be forecasts. Many people then turn away disappointed and therefore do without a valuable source of future knowledge.
- Futures research and future management methods are used in an undifferentiated and thus incorrect manner, if you do not differentiate in a crystal clear way as to the type of future they are suited to and which not. Scenario methods and Delphi analyses do not make sense everywhere.
Many people therefore never discover the foundation and the benefit of futures research and future management. There is a lack of a model that enables us to exactly express what we mean when we are talking about the future. There is no map of the key terms for the future.
The Eltville Model is the only model that consistently resolves the future confusions, creates clarity and enables a productive way of working with sound insights and results.