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Full-Spectrum Thinking


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Leading futurist Bob Johansen shows how a new way of thinking, enhanced by new technologies, will help leaders break free of limiting labels and see new gradients of possibility in a chaotic world.

About the Author

Bob Johansen is a distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley. He has done forecasts for a wide range of corporations, including Procter & Gamble, Kellogg's, Disney, Intuit, Walmart, Syngenta, and United Rentals. He is the author or coauthor of ten books, including The New Leadership Literacies, Leaders Make the Future, Get There Early, and The Reciprocity Advantage.


"This is a great read that energizes me. Leaders must engage with humility and courage to set clear direction--but look to their teams for the best execution across a spectrum of possibilities. Right or wrong is a fallacy that must be replaced by opportunities to dynamically decide, test, and adapt."
--Jason Field, President and CEO, W. L. Gore & Associates

"Full-Spectrum Thinking challenges us to be courageous as we knit together what humans do best with the power of computing for better outcomes at greater speed. We need to inspire human resources leaders to be the role models of try, fail fast and cheap--and try again as we build tools, frameworks, and experiences that enable our companies and teams to excel in the digital world."
--Vicki Lostetter, Chief Human Resources Officer, WestRock "Full-Spectrum Thinking is just the right book at just the right time, giving us new tools, new ways of sense-making, and new hope. This will be the book I hand out to everyone who works with me, as well as to friends and family."
--Paul LeBlanc, President, Southern New Hampshire University "Design thinking will blend with futures thinking in the near future. The mindset of Full-Spectrum Thinking will be needed to leap beyond the narrow categories of thought that constrain much of today's innovation."
--Tim Brown, Chair, IDEO "When confronted with the type of volatility and uncertainty we are facing today--what the ancient ones called mystery--humans have always turned to transcendence. Johansen's Full-Spectrum Thinking embodies in new terms this ancient practice of thinking beyond categories to discern a way forward that rejects the deceptive allure of certainty."
--David Vasquez-Levy, President, Pacific School of Religion "Bob Johansen has once again defined what it means to be an 'original contributor.' The insights and suggested responses contained in Full-Spectrum Thinking define a unique way to analyze and respond to our rapidly changing world. I will recommend this book to every board member and executive in my network."
--James I. Cash, Founder, The Cash Catalyst, LLC, and Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School "You must read this book. It comes from a mind trained to live ten years in the future and a heart eager to get us there safely."
--Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army "The future has no map, especially in this era of rapid change. Agile open-mindedness is essential to navigate it, and Bob Johansen's Full-Spectrum Thinking lays out a clear path for how to get there. For starters, reject rigid categories that 'coerce, ' 'keep us in cages, ' and 'move us away from understanding the bigger picture.' Seek clarity and context because the emerging future will be one with fluid roles and identities. Leaders will need to be 'very clear about where they want to go but very flexible about how they get there.' This insightful book is for all those interested in enhancing their own agility in how they think about and face the future."
--Mary Kay Magistad, creator and host of the Whose Century Is It? podcast and former China correspondent, NPR and PRI/BBC's The World "Classic departmental-based organizational thinking is the most prolific barrier to enterprise value maximization. Full-Spectrum Thinking empowers our holistic view of the consumer that is fundamental to personalized guest experience creation."
--John Padgett, Chief Innovation Officer, Carnival Corporation "In his books, his workshops, and the countless friendships like ours that he's built over the past thirty years, Bob has helped a generation of leaders better anticipate future challenges and opportunities. He's done it again with Full-Spectrum Thinking, which provides the framework to evaluate new opportunities, experiences, and people through a broader lens. Leaders concerned about future-proofing their organizations should read this book."
--Scott Price, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, UPS "Bob Johansen continues to demonstrate thought leadership in preparing for a more positive future. His new Full-Spectrum Thinking extends our Army War College Strategic Thinking Framework. In doing so, it requires our leaders to resist the certainty lure of heuristics, actively challenge categorizing assumptions, and seek greater inclusiveness in generating better possibilities for the future."
--Charles D. Allen, Professor of Leadership and Cultural Studies, US Army War College "A future-back mindset and full-spectrum thinking are needed urgently to create a vision and strategy that is not stuck in the tired categories of the past."
--Mark W. Johnson, cofounder of Innosight "The process of naming nature, or communicating it through language at all, involves
fragmenting what is essentially an undivided evolutionary continuum. Full-Spectrum Thinking is a critical plea for humans to think more fluidly, beyond the boxes and labels, to overcome the urge to reduce, simplify, and fragment nature."
--James Prosek, artist, writer, and naturalist "Bob Johansen is proposing a fundamental shift in how we form our shared stories of identity, organizations, and world vision. He is applying the science of the story to the art of communication."
--Kendall Haven, story consultant, author, and master storyteller "The wisdom of Full-Spectrum Thinking is enduring, but the new tools will make it scalable globally."
--Robert A. McDonald, Eighth Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs, and retired Chairman, President, and CEO, Procter & Gamble

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