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Environmental Scanning 101
 

Environmental Scanning 101

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An introduction to the art of environmental scanning to inform your strategy development. These are slides from the free webinar which I do on a regular basis. See my website for more details.

An introduction to the art of environmental scanning to inform your strategy development. These are slides from the free webinar which I do on a regular basis. See my website for more details.

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  • Thank you Maree. Your presentation gives me a comprehensive idea on why we need to scan the environment and how to do it.
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  • I do real appreciate on the presentation as it as contained a very significant content on this very particular environmental scanning
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  • SLOWLY…Hello everyone. This isMaree Conway, owner of Thinking Futures, and welcome to this webinar on Environmental Scanning: what it is and how to do it.The webinar aims to help you understand what environmental scanning is, in the context of strategy development and strategic planning, and how to go about doing it for yourself in your work – an alternative title for the webinar might be Scanning 101. It’s an introduction to the method. First, some housekeeping.The slides and a recording of the webinar will be available in a couple of days – I’ll email you when they’re ready.If you have any questions as we go through the session, please type them in the Meeting Chat window in your control panel as they occur to you. The chat window has a large white box and a smaller one – use the smaller one to type your questions, and they will appear in the larger box. We will work through the questions at the end of the webinar.If you want to get my attention, however, during the webinar, you can raise your flag – there should be a RAISE FLAG button in the section at the top on your panel. I’ll also be using this to do quick surveys during the webinar.I’ll also unmute the audio at some stages, so we can hear each other. When I do this, if you could say your name first before you speak, that would be great.Right, let’s get started.  
  • So today, we will talk about:….The presentation goes for about 40 minutes, and we’ll have time for questions at the end..
  • Okay, what’s you definition of environmental scanning?Write in some words/phrases in the chat window, and send to everyone.
  • Here’s my definition of environmental scanning. Note the word SYSTEMATICALLY. To scan systematically, we need to set up overt processes, and work to build scanning as an organisational capability.Environmental scanning explores both new, strange and weird ideas, as well as persistent challenges and trends today.
  • While ES is always intellectually challenging and quite fun to do really, it has no purpose unless it’s used to inject high quality information into the strategic thinking process in your organisation.
  • And the reason you do strategic thinking is to develop what I call futures ready strategy.
  • To be able to respond to the challenges of the future, you need to have spent some time thinking about what those challenges might be. They are probably not going to be the challenges you are facing today.That thinking is informed by environmental scanning.So if you don’t have good ES systems in place, you will fall prey to the garbage in, garbage out effect in your strategy cycle.
  • A quick survey – how many of you have formal scanning system set up already. Just write your organisation’s name in the chat window if a formal system exists.
  • Why establish a scanning system?At its most basic, to help you prepare for the future in a meaningful and proactive way. People often say that they want to be proactive, but you can’t be proactive if you don’t have a clear understanding of what’s coming and you don’t understand what’s changing out there and what it means for your organisation.
  • So, let me talk a little bit now about why you need to start using scanning to inform strategy development.Right now we talk about strategy, but we are usually referring to planning.We focus on producing a plan as the end product, rather than on the process that creates the preferred future – the strategic destination.
  • These sorts of diagrams abound when we look at strategic planning.
  • They look great – and I did the one on the left – but the energy that goes into these plans and frameworks distracts us from focusing on the quality of our strategic thinking.My issues with current planning processes are:
  • Often lack the flexibility to deal with unexpected changes in the external environment.
  • Usually don’t include any processes for systematically exploring the long term future of the organisation – think beyond 5 years.
  • Tend to rely heavily on quantitative data, suggesting a single outcome, and dismiss validity of qualitative data.
  • Miss potential innovation and strategic options because they don’t challenge organisational assumptions and ideologies about doing business now and into the future.Ignore the opportunity to spend some time in the future to test whether what they do today will be relevant in that future.
  • And, they usually don’t include any systematic processes for listening to the views of staff, before a plan is written.
  • we have been distracted by data analysis and plan development,
  • we confuse strategy development with strategy implementation.The literature also suggests that strategy often fails even after extensive ‘planning because of the inability of organisations to read signals of change and discontinuity in the external environment. That is, they didn’t scan.Strategy is about the future. If our planning systems don’t include a step where the future is considered, it should be no surprise that strategy often fails when it actually connects with the future.
  • We are trying to avoid this situation.Current planning processes often seem like busy work and the conventional view of planning tends to result in more of the same rather than an innovative plan focused on dealing with the future.We have to remember that:No plan survives contact with the future...unless the future drives the plan.
  • Richard Slaughter talks about three levels of futures work – pragmatic, progressive and civilisational.What we call strategic planning now is in the pragmatic realm – where we try to improve how we do things, but we don’t challenge what we do. We are planning for more of the same.
  • So, I’m interested in seeing how we can move beyond strategic planning to strategy development and implementation that is in the progressive realm where, we:Seek to find new ways of doing businessExplore new optionsAnd aim to take account of the global environment and how we contribute to global sustainability as well as the sustainability of our organisation.
  • To make this shift, we have to focus on the quality of the information that informs our strategic thinking – otherwise, how will we generate new ideas and ways of working?
  • Remember our friend Einstein who pointed out very succinctly that:We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.We have to change the way we think.
  • Because what is reasonable today will probably not be reasonable in the future."This is fairly self-explanatory, but the simple point that I wanted to make is that futures work must offer much more than traditional trend analysis and research, and should itself be shouting from the roof-tops that such stand-alone foresight offers little value in the face of our discoveries in complexity science, social evolution, organizational transformation vs. traditional organizational development, and trans/multi/inter/meta-disciplinary connectivity. As I've often said, a monkey could do trend work (no offense intended, I've often been that monkey), and the previous point arguing that critical, well-informed, and expert analytical work stemming from a broader, deeper, and more integral framework at least serves as a starting point for how futurists must guide the evolution of their theory and practice, as well as define our actual value-proposition as business continues to be redefined/reframed.“ Frank Spencer
  • Bushfire and disasters are a useful metaphor for explaining why we should do scanning.Bushfire is a natural event, particularly here in Australia, and we think we have well developed emergency response systems. A couple of years ago, we had catastrophic bushfires, at a level and intensity never before seen. Those business as usual response systems failed. Over 150 people died, towns were wiped out, and the Australian community was stunned. The NZ earthquake is another example. A fault line runs up the middle of NZ, people know this but the degree of devastation and loss of life from the most recent quake took people by surprise.We let ourselves become complacent about natural disasters, arrogantly thinking we know how to deal with them. What we forget is that disasters are uncontrollable, unpredictable and rapid moving. Just like the future.We should have realised that just because we had never had major bushfires or earthquakes before, it didn’t mean they would never happen. We could have spent time thinking about how we would respond to such an event – however unlikely – so that we were ready if it happened.The same applies to our organisations and societies. Just because we are comfortable today with how we do things doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about what might happen in the future and how we might need to change how we work and live. Just like disasters, the future is uncontrollable, unpredictable and rapid moving. We need to be ready for it.How to be ready: start thinking strategically in your organisations and use the best quality scanning information you can find to inform that thinking.
  • Unless you scan and think strategically on a continuing basis, you will be always putting out bushfires.You will always be in crisis management mode.You will always be overwhelmed by the busyness syndrome.
  • What I mean by useless strategy here is strategy that actually ignores the future, that doesn’t explore what might happen, and which results in this sort of expression when the future hits you in the face unawares!
  • Most recently, think Global Financial Crisis. There were many, many signals that this was coming, but this is how most people ended up looking when it hit.This is the look we are trying to avoid by doing environmental scanning.
  • So, how do we get started with ES?
  • By thinking big, deep and long.
  • Big – do we understand how we connect and interact with other organisations and the external environment? Do we think in systems or silos?
  • The big picture view is critical if you are going to improve the quality of your information about the external environment.Escape the confines and constraints of day-to-day thinking, go beyond your industry and country, to take a much more holistic view of what is going on. Think systems.
  • Thinking deep is about understanding your worldview, your way of seeing the world, your assumptions about how business happens, and trying to understand or at least accept the worldview of others..
  • hallenging assumptions is critical.Our minds are habitual, pattern recognition machines, and we make decisions based on our assumptions about how the world operates. But what our assumptions often do is encase us in the past, and prevent us from seeing the need to change, and from seeing new options available to us.As scanners, we need to be aware of what assumptions underpin our thinking, and perhaps more importantly, we need to work to understand the assumptions underpinning the thinking of the people who will read your scanning report.
  • What being aware of your worldview and how you make meaning from the world allows you to do is to recognise your blindspots.In a scanning sense, we must understand how we filter information – what we accept and what we reject - before we can claim to be able to interpret that information for our organisations with any credibility.
  • Long – how far into the future are we looking? Do we understand the shape of alternative futures for our organisation?Are you just assuming that the future will be more of the present?Have you engaged with the complexity and uncertainty that surrounds the future, or are you trying to ignore it?
  • This and the next couple of slides demonstrate the importance of thinking ‘long’.Our usual planning timeframe is 3-5 years. We look at trends and then plan for what is called a linear future – the one we assume to be true, based on how we view the world today.
  • Thinking long lets us recognise the range of possible futures to explore – when we think beyond three to five years, we recognise that trends have may possible outcomes and assuming a linear trajectory is a flawed approach.
  • And, we must always remember wildcards.Low probability, high impact events that have the potential to change the world overnight.They can totally dis-rail trend trajectories.It’s worth building in wildcards to your ES system so that you have explored potential discontinuities to your organisation and its work.I've been following this discussion at a distance, and am surprised that no-one's mentioned ElinaHitunen's hypothesis that a wild card is actually about the speed of change that it provokes. This is a section from her JFS article, ("Was It a Wild Card or Just Our Blindness to Gradual Change?"), which reviewed the wild card literature::"The key issue, when considering wild cards and other changes, is the rapidity ofthe changes and, according to that, the time to react to them. In order to take thesedynamics into account, changes can be divided into two categories: wild card type ofchanges and gradual changes. Both of these types are similar to S-curve type ofchanges that for example Molitor (2003) and Dator (1996, 2005) have discussed earlierin connection with emerging issues. The difference of these two types of changes isthe speed of the change (i.e. the slope of the S-curve).In the case of wild cards there is only little time to react to the change before ittakes place. In contrast to gradual changes, it is possible to anticipate them well inadvance. It is understood that this division much resembles the division of discontinuitiesinto categories of abrupt and gradual discontinuities described by van Notten etal. (2005). Although these authors do not use the term wild card in this sense, Iassume that their "abrupt discontinuity" is very similar to wild cards while "gradualdiscontinuity" (or transition as they also refer to it) has some elements of the termgradual change that I use."Whole article here: http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/11-2/4wildcard-hiltunen.pdf
  • We live in uncertain times and face an unknown future. Understanding what is coming is critical to making wise strategic decisions.Environmental scanning allows you to understand the possible impact of change in the external environment, to explore it, and to determine ways to respond before you get hit in the face.
  • Okay…let’s move on to the scanning process itself.
  • This is the inner level of a map of the external environment and major trends and drivers that I developed for an educational institution.The organisation was dealing with a number of industry issues, and they were deeply immersed in them. They understood these issues well.
  • But, they needed to go broader, and to start to look at drivers of change – the bigger forces that, over time, have the ability to change the industry and the nature of our work.Drivers are major forces that could positively or negatively shape or influence the future. Drivers have a complex relationship with each other; some drivers are an outcome of other drivers. Some are reasonably predictable, others are uncertain.
  • And we need to consider wildcards which can appear at many places on the map.
  • The societal or global level of scanning is very broad, and there is much information out there. Understanding how to source and filter information, and then use it in meaningful ways to generate knowledge in this digital era is a 21st century skill.Before you start scanning, you need to work out what matters for your organisation, otherwise you are doing undirected scanning, fun - but pointless in a strategy sense.Your existing strategic plan can help you decide this focus – what do you need to monitor to know you are being successful? what’s going to have an impact on your strategy over time?Or, you might have a particular strategic question you need to answer.Set the framework for your scanning first, to help you decide what you need to pay attention to, and what you can put aside for now.Note I said put aside, because you never dismiss or ignore anything – it might just be important into the future.
  • When you are scanning, you will see things that are happening, trends, and drivers.
  • you will start off by finding lots of things happening. These are called scanning ‘hits’.
  • And you will probably react like this! Too much information, how do I know it’s useful, this is just too hard.
  • Gradually, you will be able to group similar ‘hits’ into broader categories – trendsTo do this you need to scan continuously to build up your scanning database and to begin to see the links.
  • But, it might still feel like this…
  • Trends DO NOT exist in isolation. You can do a linear extrapolation of a trend into the future, but when you do this you are looking for certainty that doesn’t exist. You need to be trying to develop an understanding of the trend ecosystem – and how trends collide, intersect, connect and derail each other. TRENDS DO NOT EXIST IN ISOLATION. At the driver level, you are looking for patterns across often disparate trends.So Systems diagrams are a good tool here.
  • WHO SCANS?Scanning is not a solitary activity.We all scan the environment every day as individuals – particularly in a professional sense. We keep up with what’s going on in our work, our industry. We do the same with our personal lives.
  • For scanning to be organisationally useful, however, it needs to be done collectively. A small scanning team is probably optimal, but you can also work towards establishing a system where all your staff have the opportunity to contribute to organisational scanning.This is not only to help build an organisational capability in scanning, but also to expand the perspectives and possible interpretations of the scanning hits you find.The wider you go in your thinking, the stronger your ultimate strategy will be.
  • So where to look – this is a list from Shaping Tomorrow and it shows the scope of sources you can explore in your scanning.Lots and lots of sources.
  • And this quote reiterates the need to look at the weird and whacky as well.
  • Because it’s only when you escape conventional thinking that you can begin to see what changes are necessary to how you work today.
  • These are meta-scanning sites. They identify trends and leave it up to you to interpret for your context. They provide some interpretation but they don’t pretend to tell you what’s going to happen for your organisation. They don’t predict.I’ll talk a little more about Shaping Tomorrow and the services they offer shortly.
  • But don’t immediately dismiss the voice in the wilderness on the fringe. Remember that all trends start somewhere.
  • You need to be pushing out on the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You have identified the trend in time to work out how to respond, and to see if you can even shape the evolution of the trend.
  • As you scan, ask yourself these broad questions – these questions will help you seek out sources that aren’t mainstream.
  • The classification system you use will depend on your organisation’s needs. STEEP is a very common framework and works well to cover the trends and drivers ‘out there’ in the external world.You can add in Values to make it VSTEEP, which includes the human factor into the process by introducing the notion of agency.
  • How will I separate signals of real change from the noise?
  • There is no checklist that you can tick off to tell you whether a trend is useful or not.We need to take a whole brain approach here, and merge the qualitative with the quantitative, the stories with the data, the intuition with the facts.
  • I’ve tried many ways of storing and organising my scanning documents, but now use shaping tomorrow.ST provides the tool to let you record scanning hits (they call them insights), group them into trends, and start to analyse them for meaning in your context. It’s also a site that is based on collective aggregation of knowledge.Saves you time in the long run.It’s not a bookmaking site – use delicious or yummy bookmarks is this is what you need. ST requires you to think a little about the implications of your scanning hits as you record them, and that’s good discipline for all of us.They also provide a practical foresight guide which is a comprehensive overview of doing futures and foresight work in organisations. I’ve contributed to the ES section.
  • How you report your findings will depend on the purpose of the scanning.
  • Reports can take many different formats.
  • Your report should include some interpretation of the trends and drivers of change you have identified as important.My environmental scanning guide has more information about how to interpret trends for relevance for your organisation.Your report needs to explore the implications and possible strategic responses.The report needs to be written in ways that suit the culture of the organisation – there’s no one size fits all.
  • The basic question you are asking when you scan is this one…So, it makes good sense to include some leading questions almost – some trigger questions to get people thinking about the implications of the trend for the future of the organisation.
  • Okay, so what does this mean when you go back to work after the webinar?
  • Introducing change of any sort to an organisation with established processes is not simple. The same is true of introducing a scanning function to your organisation.My advice about getting started.Never underestimate your influence – it’s likely that you have an informal power base in the organisation – you just need to identify and use it.Find ways to make scanning part of your deliverables – incorporate it into your next performance review, for example.Friendlies are those senior people with open minds who might sponsor your work. Make sure you have identified the benefits it will bring to your organisation before you do this – have your ‘sales pitch’ ready.And, start in your local area, where you have some control over what you do.
  • When you go back to work, you need to move into this sort of thinking space to be able to do effective ES. You have to have an open mind to be able to challenge your assumptions about what matters to your organisation, and what might not be so important. You have to be looking for the weird and the whacky as well as the mainstream.And, you have to be comfortable with ambiguity and change.And, most importantly, never assume that the way we do things today will continue into the future.
  • There is so much information out there. In strategy terms, scanning is best done as directed scanning – with a particular focus that guides what you are looking for.I have been in a discussion recently about whether having a focus actually prevents you for seeing things because you are not looking for them – but unless scanning is your job, undirected scanning is probably a luxury that most of us can’t afford. And besides, one of my primary rules is that you need to follow your nose – if something seems interesting, follow it up until you confirm that it is worth exploring, or not.
  • Scanning in a futures context takes you into a space that is challenging. The process asks you to challenge the patterns and frames of reference by which you have always seen the world and made sense of it. It challenges you to accept something even though your brain is exerting what I discovered recently was called an amygdala highjack:When we are presented with evidence to the contrary or challenges to what we believe to be true about ourselves, others and the world, that is, what we know to be right.The brain reacts as though they are physical threats and generates fight (defensiveness) or flight (avoidance)…that suppresses rational functioning. Scanning asks you to be open to exploring those challenges and moving beyond the amygdala highjack.If your brain isn’t hurting, then you are probably not stretching your thinking enough. Push out a bit wider.
  • This one is the biggie. I’m working with two clients now, and finding the time to do scanning is the biggest challenge. It’s a new routine to be learned and incorporated into your day.Work out where you can fit it in – I do my scanning first thing in the morning and spend at least an hour (sometimes more) recording the hits I’m finding. The lesson here is to find a way to scan regularly – set a schedule that works for you, but try for 15 minutes a day in the beginning.
  • Most of usscan on a daily basis – particularly in a professional sense.Scanning systems aim to take this individual scanning to an organisational level.The aim is to move scanning from unconscious, implicit and solitary – that is, done by an individual – to conscious, explicit and collective – an organisational capability.Only then does scanning have value in the strategy process.
  • There is no point scanning if you don’t use the output to strengthen your thinking about your strategic options.You think strategically because you want to make wise decisions today, decisions that help you ensure your organisation’s sustainability, and which do no harm to future generations.
  • You can ignore the future, but when it bites in the proverbial, you only have yourself to blame.
  • Finally, enjoy your scanning.It’s a process that lets you expand your horizons and the horizons of your organisation.
  • Okay, let’s check the questions.
  • Here are my contact details.I am very happy for you to get in touch after today if you have any questions – email is probably the best way.
  • Finally, a favour please: I’d be very grateful if you can complete the satisfaction survey that I’ll send you with the webinar recording link – the feedback does help me keep these webinars relevant. You can also leave me immediate feedback using the chat window.Thank you very much for attending – that’s the end of the webinar. When you are ready, just close the webinar at your end.Till next time.Bye for now.STOP RECORDING

Environmental Scanning 101 Environmental Scanning 101 Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome to the Webinar
    We’ll be starting shortly…
    Environmental Scanning: what it is and how to do it
  • Environmental Scanning: what it is and how to do it
    Maree Conway
    Thinking Futures
  • ….using futures approaches to integrate strategic thinking into strategy development and planning
  • What ES is and why do it
    ES and strategy
    Getting started with ES
    Back to work
  • What’s your definition of environmental scanning?
  • ES is the art of systematically exploring and interpreting the external environment,
    to better understand the nature of trends and deep drivers of change
    and their likely future impact on your organisation.
  • Environmental Scanning (ES) is the foundation for high quality strategic thinking…
  • Environmental Scanning (ES) is the foundation for high quality strategic thinking…
    …that informs the development of futures ready strategy for an organisation.
  • Futures ready strategy is flexible strategy that readies an organisation to respond to the challenges of the future.
  • Quick Survey
    How many of you have formal scanning systems operational in your organisations?
  • Why a Scanning System?
    To strengthen the quality of the thinking that goes into your strategy development
    To let you understand what’s coming and what’s changing and what it means for you
    To give you enough time to prepare and be proactive
    To give you a competitive edge
    To move you beyond busy - out of crisis management mode
  • Current strategy processes tend to focus on the plan as the major outcome, rather than a shared understanding of your organisation’s preferred future to inform action today.
  • Making VU 2016: A Statement of Purpose
    Strategic vision and objectives
    Current until 2016
    Internal & External Planning Inputs
    Ongoing environmental scanning
    • Educational & societal trends
    • Government policy drivers
    • Legislation
    • University cross-sectoral strategies
    • Other University Plans (eg OHS, Disability, Staff Equity etc)
    University Priorities
    2008-2010
    Outcomes & Strategies to implement
    Reviewed each year in first half of year
    Unit Strategic Plans
    2008-2010
    Faculties, Schools
    & Service areas
    Implementation of University Priority strategies
    University Budget Process
    Iterative process to align budgets and plans
    Budget sign-off at end September
    Quarterly Budget Reviews
    Reviewed and updated in August/September; finalised following QIRs in November
    Department Plans
    Improvement action identified/changes to plans identified
    SPDP: individual Staff Plans
    QIR Inputs
    Organisational Unit QIR Portfolios
    Faculty Review Outcomes
    Annual Course Reporting
    Course Review
    Subject Evaluation Outcomes
    AQTF outcomes
    AUQA Follow up
    Quality Improvement Reviews (QIRs)
    Approval of operational plans
    Review of current year’s performance
    Held in November each year
  • Think tomorrow is going to be more of today
  • Can’t cope with the unexpected
  • Usually don’t explore the
    long term future
  • Prefer quantitative over qualitative information
  • Don’t challenge assumptions
  • Downplay or dismiss staff beliefs,hopesandfears about the future
  • While the need for planning has never been greater, the relevance of most of today’s planning systems and tools is increasingly marginal (Fuller, 2003).
  • It may well be that the typical strategic planning exercise now conducted on a regular and formal basis and infused with quantitative data misses the essence of the concept of strategy and what is involved in thinking strategically (Sidorowicz, 2000).
  • A major assumption of the strategic planning literature … is that all of these terms [strategy, planning] necessarily go together. [That is] Strategy formation is a planning process, designed or supported by planners, to plan in order to produce plans” (Mintzberg, 1994).
  • Current strategy processes live in the pragmatic futures realm.
    Working within the existing paradigm, making it better, but not challenging it.
    We call it ‘strategic planning’.
  • Beyond strategic planning – to strategy development and implementation.
    Moving into the progressive futures realm, where we challenge the current paradigm and re-interpret how we do business to meet the challenges of the future.
  • Moving from pragmatic to progressive approaches requires a strong focus on building a high quality strategic thinking capacity in your organisation.
  • We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
  • ...because what works today will probably not work for those who follow you in the future...
  • If you don’t spend the time to improve the quality of the thinking that goes into your strategic decisions, then you will get superficial, limited and ultimately useless strategy.
  • So how do we get started with environmental scanning?
  • BIG
    DEEP
    LONG
  • BIG
  • Take a big picture, systems perspective…our micro-decisions coalesce to create global futures
  • DEEP
  • Our assumptions encase us in the past.
  • We all have blind spots that cause us to miss important information.
  • LONG
  • UNCERTAINTY
    High
    Usual Planning Timeframe
    (3-5 years)
    The linear future is the one we believe to be true, usually based on untested assumptions
    Trend
    Linear Future
    Low
    Today
    TIME
    Future
  • UNCERTAINTY
    High
    Usual Planning Timeframe
    (3-5 years)
    Possible Futures
    Trend
    Linear Future
    Low
    Today
    TIME
    Future
  • UNCERTAINTY
    High
    Usual Planning Timeframe
    (3-5 years)
    Possible Futures
    Trend
    Linear Future
    Low
    Today
    TIME
    Future
  • The Scanning Process
  • The External Environment
    Social Environment
    Driving
    Forces
    Industry
    Environment
    Factors / Trends Issues / Forces
    Social
    Technological
    Economic
    Ecological
    Political

    Suppliers
    Organisation
    Customers
    Clients
    Competitors
    Members of Wider Society
    Driving
    Forces
    Adapted from K. van der Heijden
  • Industry
    Educational
    Gaming
    Organisation
    Learning
    Students
    Online
    Suppliers
    Stakeholders
    Sustainability
    Engagement
    Vocational
    Imperative
    Funding
  • Globalisation
    Technology
    Global
    Demographics &
    generational change
    Industry
    Educational
    Gaming
    Organisation
    Lifestyle
    Learning
    Online
    Environment
    Engagement
    Sustainability
    Values
    Vocational
    Imperative
    Funding
    Economy
    Politics
  • Wildcard
    Globalisation
    Technology
    Global
    Wildcard
    Demographics&
    generational change
    Wildcard
    Industry
    Educational
    Gaming
    Organisation
    Lifestyle
    Learning
    Online
    Environment
    Engagement
    Sustainability
    Values
    Wildcard
    Vocational
    Imperative
    Funding
    Economy
    Politics
  • Things Happening
    Trend
    (grouping of events)
    Driver
    (moves trends in certain directions, broad in scope and long term in nature)
  • When you start scanning, you will find lots of things happening
    Things Happening
    Trend
    (grouping of events)
    Driver
    (moves trends in certain directions, broad in scope and long term in nature)
  • Gradually, you will be able to group similar ‘hits’ into broader categories – trends.
    Things Happening
    Trend
    (grouping of events)
    Driver
    (moves trends in certain directions, broad in scope and long term in nature)
  • But it might still feel like this – a bit of a maze to try and work your way through…
  • What we are really interested in exploring is what is driving these trends.
    Things Happening
    Trend
    (grouping of events)
    Driver
    (moves trends in certain directions, broad in scope and long term in nature)
  • And this is where the connections between the trends will surface and it will start to make sense.
  • Who Scans?
  • Scanning is not a solitary activity…
  • Where to Look?
  • Global, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrends
    Late Majority
    Number of cases; degree of public awareness
    Laggards
    Mainstream
    Late Adopters
    Trends
    EmergingIssues
    Few cases,
    local focus
    Early adopters
    Innovators
    Today
    Time
    Time from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years
    Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett Rogers
  • Global, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrends
    Government Institutions
    Newspapers, magazines, websites, journals, blogs
    Late Majority
    Number of cases; degree of public awareness
    Laggards
    Scientists, artists, radicals, mystics
    Mainstream
    Late Adopters
    Trends
    EmergingIssues
    Few cases,
    local focus
    Early adopters
    Innovators
    Today
    Time
    Time from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years
    Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett Rogers
  • Most scanning takes place here
    Global, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrends
    Government Institutions
    Newspapers, magazines, websites, journals, blogs
    Late Majority
    Number of cases; degree of public awareness
    Laggards
    Scientists, artists, radicals, mystics
    Mainstream
    Late Adopters
    Trends
    EmergingIssues
    Few cases,
    local focus
    Early adopters
    Innovators
    Today
    Time
    Time from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years
    Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett Rogers
  • But we need to look on the fringe as well
    Global, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrends
    Government Institutions
    Newspapers, magazines, websites, journals,blogs
    Late Majority
    Number of cases; degree of public awareness
    Laggards
    Scientists, artists, radicals, mystics
    Mainstream
    Late Adopters
    Trends
    EmergingIssues
    Few cases,
    local focus
    Early adopters
    Innovators
    Today
    Time
    Time from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years
    Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett Rogers
  • Newspapers, twitter, websites, blogs, wikis, podcasts, videos, news sites, newsletter, magazines, books, book reviews, presentations, reports, surveys, interviews, seminars, chat rooms, trend observers, advertisers, philosophers sociologists, management gurus, consultants, researchers, experts, universities.
    Where to look…
    Shaping Tomorrow
  • If you’re looking for new ideas that don’t yet exist, don’t talk to normal people because they’re just consuming what is available today – find the weirdos and see what they are doing, what they’re making on their own, and say gee – is there something I can mainstream from this?
    Tom Kelly
    Founder, Ideo
  • Trends
    Whatever takes you away from conventional thinking…
    The weird and unimaginable
    Emerging Issues
  • Shaping Tomorrow
    Trendwatching
    Brain Reserve
    Now and Next
    The Tomorrow Project
    Strategic Business Insights
    Arlington Institute
    Some Scanning Sites
  • What is happening today with your issue?
    What are other people saying about its evolution over time? How credible are they?
    Looking for…
  • Don’t dismiss the outliers…
  • New, first
    Idea
    Change
    Surprise
    Opportunity
    Threat
    Diversity of perspectives
    Looking for…
  • Ideally, a scan hit identifies an emerging issue that is objectively new even to experts, confirms or is confirmed by additional scan hits, and that has been identified in time for social dialogue, impact assessment, and policy formation.
    Wendy Schultz, Infinite Futures 2004
    Looking for…
  • What are the major driving forces?
    What big surprises are on the horizon?
    What are possible discontinuities (wildcards)?
    What are the sources of inspiration and hope?
    As you scan…
    Richard Slaughter, Foresight International
  • As you scan…
    If you think …‘that’s rubbish’, stop.
    First, ask why do I think it’s rubbish?
    Second, take another look.
    Third, ask what would enable you to accept it as possible? Scan to see if that is happening.
  • Classifying Hits
  • Social
    Technological
    Environmental
    Economic
    STEEP or add in Values
    to make it VERY STEEP (VSTEEP)*
    Political
    *Marcus Barber, Looking Up, Feeling Good
  • When is a hit useful?
  • Does the hit help you understand your issue?
    Does the hit identify a new way of seeing the issue?
    Does the hit help you to explore trends and their potential impacts?
    Shaping Tomorrow
  • Does the hit aim to identify and assess possible future threats and opportunities, including radical alternatives?
    Does the hit challenge existing assumptions underpinning current polices and practice?
    Shaping Tomorrow
  • Ultimately, you need to trust your intuition – your expertise, knowledge and insight is the best gauge of usefulness.
    But, remember your blind spots!
  • Recording and Sharing Hits
  • Title
    Summary
    Source and date published
    Initial assessment of implications
    Tag/VSTEEP category
    What to Record
  • For example (taken from SCAN, a publication by Strategic Business Insights)
     
    2009-01-03 Streaming Video and Security (Information Week Daily 26 November 2001), describes the shift of Packet Video (a developer of video streaming technology) from consumer to security applications. The company’s technology could provide live feeds from the cockpits of hijacked planes.
  • http://www.shapingtomorrow.com
  • Reporting Your Findings
  • A snapshot report of the external environment.
    A background paper for the strategic planning cycle.
    Regular trend reports on single trends.
    More detailed quarterly reports on implications of trends and drivers.
    Quick snippets about what you are finding.
    Rating the hits – staff involvement.
    In all cases, add in trigger questions to prompt discussion/conversation.
  • What impact might it have on your industry today and in the future?
    What might be the implications for your organisation?
    How might you respond?
  • How, and in what ways, could this information be relevant to my organisation?
  • Reporting Template Examples
  • Back to Work
  • Never underestimate your influence.
    Make it part of your deliverables.
    Look for ‘friendlies’.
    Start local.
  • Have good organisational diagnostics: can smell the cheese, but will jump ship.
    Get it, and can use the system – very rare.
    Don’t bother – they are waiting for you to fail!
    They will follow you blindly – just like lemmings!
    Andy Hines, An Audit for Organizational Futurists: 10 Questions Every Organizational Futurist Should be Able to Answer, 2003
  • Long term
    Uncertain
    Divergent
    Incomplete
    Beyond linear
    Disruption
  • Challenges: Info Overload
  • Challenges: Stretching Your Thinking
  • Challenges: Finding the Time
  • Unconscious
    Implicit
    Solitary
    Organisational Scanning
    Conscious
    Explicit
    Collective
    Individual
    Scanning
  • The aim of scanning work is to provide robust information that strengthens your understanding of your organisation’s long term context…
    …to enable you to make wise strategic decisions today.
  • We do scanning to avoid having this perspective on the future…
  • Enjoy your scanning!
  • Download Building Strategic Futures Guides:
    Getting Started with Futures
    Environmental Scanning
    http://thinkingfutures.net/resources/building-strategic-futures-guides/
  • Contact Details
    Maree Conway
    http://www.thinkingfutures.net
    maree.conway@thinkingfutures.net
    Tel: + 61 3 9016 9506
    Mobile: + 61 425 770 181
    Skype: mkconway1
    Shaping Tomorrow
    http://www.shapingtomorrow.com
    Foresight Network
    http://shapingtomorrowmain.ning.com
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