Shaping the future

Shaping the future

I

t was not that long ago that Strategic Planning was the silver bullet used to deal with the future. But events of recent years have showed the shortcomings of the traditional, mostly linear methods of strategy work. The value of such planning depends greatly on stable conditions, which do not exist anymore. The times now are full of unpredictability.

Is the conclusion then that a debate on the future is worthless? Not at all.

Future cannot be predicted, but the future can be shaped.

Despite, and because of all the uncertainty and unpredictability, change is not only a given, it needs to be developed using a proactive approach . Gone, however, are the days when it was enough to write down strategies for the years to come, and afterwards implement and control them.

The requirements for sustainable strategy work have changed irreversibly.

The dynamics of the today’s events requires a constant updating of the planning and implementation efforts. The successful implementation of strategies does not work if the process of development and formulation is disconnected to the subsequent implementation and deployment. The realties now require the integration of the implementation within the development process and a continuous adaptation of the strategy in the implementation process.

3U tips to shape the future of your organization:

The more flexibility and adaptability is needed on the surface, the more stability and clarity it takes in the core. Paradoxically, in turbulent environments those units that are most successful are ones that have a stable common clarity concerning basic question: Who are we? What do we want? What do we do? Why do we do it the way we do it?

Connect each strategy development process with a scenario process: We recommend accompanying every main strategic direction with the creation of alternative scenarios, not only at the level of corporate governance, but also in the middle management levels. A mind that is prepared to think in alternative ways and scenarios can better seize opportunities and overcome crises. In exceptional situations when decisions are needed quickly, it is best to have a supply of useful options.

Get through smart; low-risk experiments on a small scale those insights you need to succeed in the big scale. Often companies limit themselves to one single solution or hasty action when they are confronted with a new, not exactly tangible problem. The larger the initial uncertainty, the higher the number of experiments should be. If your organization does not allow many of these experiments, you should develop the ability for rapid prototyping within your units. We are happy to support you.