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Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible Hardcover – Import, 18 Jan 2011

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“The ability to see trends and identify future opportunities is a skill anyone can benefit from - and Burrus’s latest work is a valuable introduction to the fundamentals.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A welcome jolt of optimism.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Flash Foresight is transformational reading. Burrus has provided a brilliant blueprint for mapping the problems and solutions both of the present and the future. He may also have given us one of the best business books to be written in a long time.” (Business Lexington)

“Full of provocative insights and powerful strategies from a veteran entrepreneur. The ‘Take Your Biggest Problem - and Skip It’ chapter alone is worth the price of admission.” (Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes and CEO of Forbes Inc.)

“Superbly written and thoroughly researched, Flash Foresight equips the reader with seven valuable principles that provide uniquely effective strategies to grow personally as well as professionally.” (Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Leader in Me)

“I love this book! It’s as much fun to read as it is inspiring to learn from. Buy it, read it, and put it to use-in a flash!”Alan M. Webber, co-founder, Fast Company (Alan M. Webber, co-founder, Fast Company)

“With the increasing pressure to innovate and gain competitive advantages, leaders from start-ups to multi-national organizations will find deep insights from the seven principles of Flash Foresight. It will change the way you think about your current obstacles and open your mind to limitless new opportunities.” (Terry Jones, founder Travelocity.com and Chairman of Kayak.com)

“After reading Flash Foresight and applying the principles to our business, in less than a year we have been able to double our revenues and increase the value of our company by a factor of four.” (Arnie Bellini, CEO, ConnectWise)

“Fascinating! A powerful competitive weapon that cuts through the clutter, Flash Foresight shows you what you need to do to survive and thrive in the challenging times that lie ahead.” (Rear Admiral David Bill III, USN (Ret.), Executive Director of Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) FoundationRear Admiral David Bill III, USN (Ret.), Executive Director of Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) FoundationRear Admiral David Bill III, USN (Ret)

“Flash Foresight provides a flight plan through turbulence and a provocative window to the future that will stimulate a great amount of innovation and positive change.” (Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines)

“Flash Foresight is a revolutionary book that offers the insights and strategies leaders will need to profit from the transformational times ahead.” (Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There)

“What if you could predict the future? Reinvent the way you solve problems? Skip over an obstacle and get right to the finish line? Read Flash Foresight and let Daniel Burrus show you how. The possibilities are infinite.” (Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level)

“Flash Foresight is all about accelerating business and personal growth, showing you how to see major hidden opportunities, skip over the most difficult problems, and using the power of certainty to transform your business and your life. I highly recommend it!” (Jack Canfield, co-author of The Success Principles and of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul® series)

“For a quarter century Daniel Burrus has made a science out of showing individuals, companies and organizations how to discover the limitless potential of their own future. Flash Foresight is an outstanding blueprint for innovation and success!” (Anthony Robbins, author, entrepreneur and peak performance strategist)

“In uncertain times, foresight needs to be 20/20. Daniel Burrus’ visionary concepts shed new light on the strategies that will keep your business looking bright.” (Harvey Mackay, author of Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive)

“Flash Foresight is filled with powerful stories that teach readers how to get bursts of insight about the future that reveal hidden opportunities and provide real solutions to what were seemingly impossible problems. I highly recommend it!” (Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, producer of The Color Purple, Rain Man, and Gorillas in the Mist)

“Flash Foresight, is full of powerful, useful, easy-to-understand-and-apply principles for discovering and inventing the future....When you are finished, you’ll never see the future in the same way again.” (Joel Barker, author of Paradigms, the Business of Discovering the Future)

“A must-read for leaders in both business and education, Flash Foresight provides provocative insights that will intrigue and inspire your professional and personal life.” (Dr. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University, Chairman of Great Harvest Bread Co.)

“This book is nothing short of a revelation. A must-read for any thought leader and all those who aspire to be.” (Joe Calloway, author of Becoming a Category of One)

“I always get great insights from Daniel Burrus, and his new book, Flash Foresight, does not disappoint! Not only will it help you create a brighter future, it will also give you tools and ideas for living better today. I highly recommend it.” (Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor and You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader)

“This book is extraordinary! A brilliant must-read for any executive who chooses to play big and not settle for incremental improvement. This book could create a worldwide transformation.” (Roxanne Emmerich, author of Thank God It's Monday! How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love)

“If people had understood and applied the strategies in Flash Foresight, we might have avoided some of the trials and tribulations of recent times. Here’s to a brighter future for everyone who reads and uses Daniel’s book.” (Tom Hopkins, author of Selling in Tough Times)

“Flash Foresight is chock-full of examples showing how organizations of all sizes have applied Burrus’s seven powerful principles to do seemingly impossible things. A fast read that will prime the pump for any entrepreneur or organization ready to transform their product or service.” (Dianna Booher, author of The Voice of Authority and Communicate with Confidence!)

From the Back Cover

Today we all face more impossible challenges than ever before. But flash foresight lets you transform the impossible into the possible, revealing hidden opportunities and allowing you to solve your biggest problems—before they happen.

Daniel Burrus is one of the world's leading forecasters, corporate strategists, and visionaries. Over the past quarter century, he has established a reputation worldwide for his exceptional record of accurately predicting the future of technological change and its direct impact on the business world.

"Wouldn't it be amazing if you could predict the future—and be right?" writes Burrus. "You can: all you have to do is leave out the parts you could be wrong about! And the amazing thing is, when you know where to look, there's more than enough you can be right about to make all the difference."

From small businesses to multinationals, individual careers to entire industries, Flash Foresight looks at how Burrus's seven radical flash foresight "triggers" have transformed dozens of careers, fortunes, and lives. Both engaging and enlightening, Flash Foresight provides an easy-to-implement blueprint for applying the same strategies to your own business, enabling you to see the invisible and do the impossible.

In the past, flash foresight was useful. Today, as the pace of technological change accelerates almost beyond the point of comprehension, it's an imperative.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (18 January 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061922293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061922299
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,28,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

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This is a must read for every professional
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 88 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, and very useful book. Everyone should read this! 2 September 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is great and speaks directly to what my primary gift/talent is. "Flash Foresight", is a great name for it too, because the word prophecy has way too much baggage attached to it. Now I can finally start to figure out how to monetize this skill/talent/gift.

Flash Foresight explains my moving on after passing ideas to others once they get them, my voracious appetite for learning about new technologies, and constantly being in the right place too early for each big thing coming down the pike.

It also explains my difficulty relating to people when they don't get what I do. Combine Flash Foresight (AKA prophecy) with Geoffrey Moore's seminal work "Crossing the Chasm", Star Trek, the writings of Robert Heinlein, Issac Asimov and knowledge of human psychology, and it is a potent mix that I didn't realize I was doing because it appears to be my "gift". I always wondered why everyone else doesn't have it, while they thought I was stupid for saying stuff they weren't ready to understand.

Now I know that anyone and everyone can have Flash Foresight, if they only desire to learn how, and then educate themselves in the fields where they wish to deploy it, namely train themselves as I unwittingly have trained myself all my life, I feel a lot less weird, a lot less alone.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The people who read this book will end up with your marketshare 20 January 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read a lot of leadership books and you sometimes have to wade through a lot of mediocre books to get to a jewel. Flash Foresight is definitely a jewel. So good that I have sent it to clients and I will read it again.

This book makes you think in the same manner that the essays in Malcolm Gladwell's "What the Dog Saw" makes you think. More importantly it provides a systematic approach to conquer the challenges addressed in the book.

If I had to pick one phrase from the book that communicates its essence it would be what the author describes as the new golden rule of business "If it can be done, it will be done... If you don't do it, someone else will."

The question that remains unanswered is "are you or your company that someone who will do it?" Will you have and act on the Flash Foresight as he defines it "a blinding flash of the future obvious."


The author does a good job of summarizing the action steps from each chapter allowing the busy executive to quickly gather the content. Even though the summarized actions are well written, reading the entire chapter is still well worth it to get the context. Excellent use of examples from industry and the authors experience with references are provided when appropriate.

The author provides a systematic approach with seven "foresight triggers" and eight "pathways of technological advancement." He develops this approach in a manner that facilitates execution of his process because he judiciously incorporates a common understanding of the terms and premises on which they are built. These include: cyclic change, linear change, soft trends, hard trends, the three digital accelerators, and transformation.


In order to gain "Flash Foresight" the author advocates spending an hour each week addressing "What are you certain about? What are the hard trends of your future, versus the soft trends? What are the permanent, linear changes and what are the cyclical changes? How are the three digital accelerators and eight pathways of technology driven transformation going to affect your life and work?...What are the problems you are going to have tomorrow, next week, next month? A few years down the road? What are the problems your kids, your spouse, your employees, your associates, your customers are going to have? Even better, what are the future problems of those people who are not yet your customers but will be if you have solutions to their problems by the time they happen?"


Here are a few excerpts that resonated with me.

1. "Either/or" thinking assumes a zero-sum game, in which the pie is fixed size and emerging technologies-or emerging markets-must necessarily threaten the existence of the old. But that's not reality...The principle of "both/and" tells us that the new and the old will continue to coexist side by side.

2. ...one clear dependable strategy for staying ahead of the curve is to create in yourself and in your company or organization a habit of continuously decommoditizing. Anything and everything can become a commodity; and any product or service can be decommoditized. [Yes, he does provide examples]

3. ...there will be no recovery, no going back-only a surge forward into a very different world.

4. Not long ago, a CEO of a large company told me he was reluctant to spend the money to upgrade his people's skills. "What if I do," he said, "and then they leave?"..."I see your point," I responded. "But what if you don't-and then they stay?"

5. ...The organizations that are succeeding today are those that have learned how to fail fast-and who do not fail to learn.

6. Here is the question you need to ask yourself: "In order to speed up, am I willing to slow down?"


This book ends very powerfully with the author providing a real example of how he used the process from a blank slate to create a successful product with a minimum of overhead. This book not only will re-frame your thinking but you can use it as a tool to re-frame the thinking of those around you. This book is beyond a good idea, beyond an academic's theory... it is a practitioner's framework that can be built upon to drive personal and business success.

Dr. James T. Brown, PMP PE CSP
Author - The Handbook of Program Management
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Usable tips but beware the hidden limitation 14 November 2013
By Hilton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At first I felt that the author had a really interesting perspective but the further I delved into the book the more I felt that his concept of "go opposite" was just a limited variation on other writers such as Edward De Bono's lateral thinking tools. In my opinion, promoting only the one form of creative thinking creates a self imposed limit on the creative process.
Other than my criticism outlined above, I believe there is much merit in the book and especially in the distinction between the types of trend i.e. the hard trend and the soft trend and have now incorporated the concept in my strategic thinking.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and very insightful 29 March 2011
By John Chancellor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I was reading Flash Foresight, the quote from Shakespeare's Macbeth keep popping into my mind, "If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grains will grow and which will not, speak then to me." According to Daniel Burrus, the author of Flash Foresight, we all can look into the seeds of time. We just need to look at the right seeds (have the proper focus) and realize that some things we can see and some things we cannot.

The things we can see he calls hard trends. "A hard trend is a projection based on measurable, tangible, and fully predictable facts, events or objects. A soft trend is based on statistics that have the appearance of being tangible, fully predictable facts. A hard trend is something that will happen: a future fact. A soft trend is something that might happen: a future maybe."

The premise of the book is we can predict the future by making a distinction between hard trends and soft trends.

"The growing market demand for fuel efficient vehicles was a hard trend. GM losing its market dominance to Toyota was not a hard trend, because GM could have stopped it from happening. But they didn't"

We need to learn to distinguish between hard trends - things we know are going to happen no matter what, and soft trends where things can change.

In 1993, in a speech before 10,000 attendees at the National Bookseller's Association, Mr. Burrus predicted "Within the next two to three years, you're going to see a successful virtual bookstore opening up online ..." A year later Amazon.com was started.

According to Mr. Burrus, there are seven keys to mastering Flash Foresight. 1) Start with certainty. Understand the hard trends and apply them to your set of circumstances. 2) Anticipate what these hard trends mean. Observe what is happening and anticipate what must follow next. 3) Transform - here the example is going from the hard copy record CD to the MP3 format. Transform the product. 4) Skip your biggest problem. We often focus on one problem when in fact it is merely a symptom. Skipping the problem allows to really see the root problem which is what must be solved. 5) Go opposite. Go 180 degrees from where everyone else is going. 6) Redefine and reinvent and 7) Direct your future.

The book is filled with fascinating insights about a variety of things. You will be totally engaged with the book. You will learn some valuable tools which will allow you to clearly see the future. Instead of wishing you had purchased the stock of Microsoft or Amazon.com before they were successful, you will be able to know which companies are poised for exceptional growth because they are following hard trends.

But more importantly, you will be able to get ahead of the curve for your own business or life.

"Most of the time we occupy ourselves with the questions of the moment and these by definition tend to be questions of reaction. When you apply even the most brilliant minds to the wrong questions, the best you can hope to come up with is really brilliant bad answers."

The book is extremely well written (John David Mann is co-author) and reading it is a breeze and lots of fun. If you apply what you learn from this book, it will make a huge difference in your life.

I highly recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars I was amazed how much this book and Daniel's work has affected ... 28 October 2016
By Marty Wolff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read dozens of business books every year. I do that to stay current and to prepare for interviews I have with authors on my Business Builders Show podcast. I first read this book in January 2015. I needed to review it again when I had Daniel Burrus scheduled on the show. I was amazed how much this book and Daniel's work has affected my own business and what I share with my clients. This work will transform your business. And, you need to subscribe to anything Daniel Burrus is connected to.