Alex Soojung-Kim Pang at IFTF's Future Now has coined The Nunberg Error:
I officially propose that henceforth, "seeing the future as insufficiently different from the present," particularly when gender and other social roles are at issue, should be called the Nunberg Error.
I mention this for two reasons. Number one, it is very difficult to predict anything, and seeing changes are even harder. Alex talks about this and references Geoff Nunberg's discussion of this problem as well. Cultural changes are difficult to visualize because culture is so deeply ingrained in everything around us. This might be at a company, or it might be in a society. I've been with clients where I could see "obvious"opportunities for change, but it took much discussion and various Socratic approaches before they began to see what was right there.
Number two, I just love the picture from Popular Mechanics that Nunberg discusses in the intro to his discussion and that Alex pulls up from Nunberg's archives:
The caption reads, "Because all her furniture is waterproof, the housewife of the year 2000 can do her cleaning with a hose."
Quick Update: This discussion made me think of a recent post by Lilia Efimova on On acculturation and consciousness of it, where she discusses the outsider's ability to see cultural mores and decide which to assume.