What Are Weak Signals?

Definition of weak signals from Scenarios by Roadidea:

“In organisational dynamics, a weak signal is: 

  • an idea or trend that will affect how we do business, what business we do, and the environment in which we will work
  • new and surprising from the signal receiver’s vantage point (although others may already perceive it sometimes difficult to track down amid other noise and signals)
  • a threat or opportunity to your organisation
  • often scoffed at by people who “know”
  • usually has a substantial lag time before it will mature and become mainstream
  • therefore represents an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve.

Weak signals mean today’s information that can foretell the changes in the future…As time passes, it might come out that weak signals were the first signs or symptoms of a big change, even megatrends. However, weak signals are not always clues about big changes.  They might simply be information about strange things that [happen]. A practical example of weak signals is an article about some new technical innovation in a magazine.

Once you perceive a weak signal and understand it, a whole host of other signals may become visible. These comprise the complete ecosystem of ideas and trends that will support each other in the journey from [thought] to manifestation. No weak signal ever rises to dominance by itself, but is accompanied by shifts in political, economic, technological, and social thought and invention.”