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Strategic futures workshop_20151005_final

Futures workshop held by RNLI Innovation Team in partnership with the Future Agenda

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Report:
RNLI Strategic Futures
a workshop held by the Innovation team
in association with:
SUMMARY
The Innovation team successfully demonstrated the power of using
foresight techniques and ‘futures thinking’ to stimulate debate and
inform future oriented strategic thinking within the RNLI.
Using insights emergent from the World’s leading foresight programme
(Future Agenda), senior managers from across the business developed
compelling future narratives and future oriented questions that may
now be collaboratively explored by the RNLI Innovation team. The
answers to these questions will then subsequently be used to inform
our future strategic direction.
The event attracted lots of positive feedback from attendees and the
team has already received requests to support a number of existing
work packages with foresight work, including those owned by
Corporate Strategy.
Background
The RNLI strategy is 100% aligned to achieving our mission. It is developed by taking
into account current trends and insights, making implicit assumptions about the World
the RNLI will occupy 20 years from now. However, that ‘future world’ is actually one of
many, spread along a variety of different axes – political, economic, technological,
societal etc.
The first objective of this workshop was to use foresight techniques to explore these
alternative future worlds and stimulate the challenging of some of our assumptions
about the future.
The second objective of the workshop was to then use this conversation as a
foundation from which to generate future oriented questions that could then
potentially be addressed by the RNLI Innovation community. If we develop questions
with our heads in the ‘Now’, by the time a solution is developed, the window of
opportunity for it to be truly disruptive and create new value is significantly narrowed.
If we put our heads in the future and ask questions about how we may solve future
(10yrs +) challenges, you increase the likelihood of creating interim and final outputs
that are truly positively disruptive.
The Future Agenda
• The workshop used insights from the not-for-profit “Future Agenda”
programme as a springboard / stimulus for talking about the future.
• The insights we used had been collated from workshops with over 5000
people World wide and are a great indication of what people are most
concerned / excited about when thinking about the future. You can learn
more here
• Our facilitator for the day, Patrick Harris, of Growth Agenda / Thought
Engine was heavily involved with the programme.
Workshop flow
Introductions and “What is Foresight?”
• Intro to Foresight thinking
• How does it fit with current strategy development?
Open discussion
• Explore and discuss insights and outputs from the Future Agenda global foresight
programme.
Prioritise
• Prioritise! (High/Med/Low)
• What insights will have most impact upon wider society / the organisation?
Narrative development
• Develop a story / narrative about the future where the prioritised insights have been
realised.
Question development
• Use the story to develop questions about the role of the RNLI in the future context.
Introductions and “What is Foresight?”
•Intro to Foresight thinking
•How does it fit with current strategy development?
Before kicking off in earnest, we got to know each other a
little and what our current thoughts were about the
future, 10yrs from now…
Boundaries and
borders
Energy –
rebalancing the
economy
Education – What
role will Artificial
intelligence &
social learning
play?
Resource wars &
consequent migration -
siege mentality in W
Europe and North
America
Political
devolution –
weak central
governments
Tech leading to
extended lifespans
and ageing
demographic
Individualisation
– personalisation,
expression of
best and worst
Big Data –
surveillance,
privacy
Big Issues – will
much change
fundamentally?
Growing Inequality
– inevitable or will
society organise &
take action?

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Strategic futures workshop_20151005_final

  • 1. Report: RNLI Strategic Futures a workshop held by the Innovation team in association with:
  • 2. SUMMARY The Innovation team successfully demonstrated the power of using foresight techniques and ‘futures thinking’ to stimulate debate and inform future oriented strategic thinking within the RNLI. Using insights emergent from the World’s leading foresight programme (Future Agenda), senior managers from across the business developed compelling future narratives and future oriented questions that may now be collaboratively explored by the RNLI Innovation team. The answers to these questions will then subsequently be used to inform our future strategic direction. The event attracted lots of positive feedback from attendees and the team has already received requests to support a number of existing work packages with foresight work, including those owned by Corporate Strategy.
  • 3. Background The RNLI strategy is 100% aligned to achieving our mission. It is developed by taking into account current trends and insights, making implicit assumptions about the World the RNLI will occupy 20 years from now. However, that ‘future world’ is actually one of many, spread along a variety of different axes – political, economic, technological, societal etc. The first objective of this workshop was to use foresight techniques to explore these alternative future worlds and stimulate the challenging of some of our assumptions about the future. The second objective of the workshop was to then use this conversation as a foundation from which to generate future oriented questions that could then potentially be addressed by the RNLI Innovation community. If we develop questions with our heads in the ‘Now’, by the time a solution is developed, the window of opportunity for it to be truly disruptive and create new value is significantly narrowed. If we put our heads in the future and ask questions about how we may solve future (10yrs +) challenges, you increase the likelihood of creating interim and final outputs that are truly positively disruptive.
  • 4. The Future Agenda • The workshop used insights from the not-for-profit “Future Agenda” programme as a springboard / stimulus for talking about the future. • The insights we used had been collated from workshops with over 5000 people World wide and are a great indication of what people are most concerned / excited about when thinking about the future. You can learn more here • Our facilitator for the day, Patrick Harris, of Growth Agenda / Thought Engine was heavily involved with the programme.
  • 5. Workshop flow Introductions and “What is Foresight?” • Intro to Foresight thinking • How does it fit with current strategy development? Open discussion • Explore and discuss insights and outputs from the Future Agenda global foresight programme. Prioritise • Prioritise! (High/Med/Low) • What insights will have most impact upon wider society / the organisation? Narrative development • Develop a story / narrative about the future where the prioritised insights have been realised. Question development • Use the story to develop questions about the role of the RNLI in the future context.
  • 6. Introductions and “What is Foresight?” •Intro to Foresight thinking •How does it fit with current strategy development? Before kicking off in earnest, we got to know each other a little and what our current thoughts were about the future, 10yrs from now… Boundaries and borders Energy – rebalancing the economy Education – What role will Artificial intelligence & social learning play? Resource wars & consequent migration - siege mentality in W Europe and North America Political devolution – weak central governments Tech leading to extended lifespans and ageing demographic Individualisation – personalisation, expression of best and worst Big Data – surveillance, privacy Big Issues – will much change fundamentally? Growing Inequality – inevitable or will society organise & take action?
  • 7. Open discussion •Explore and discuss insights and outputs from the Future Agenda global foresight programme. We held an open forum to discuss some of the Insights emerging from the Future Agenda foresight Programme, trying to keep our heads in the ‘Global’ mind set and not diving into becoming ‘RNLI focussed’ too early. It was a powerful tool in untying people from their current role and the constraints associated with those roles. We learnt a lot about the person behind the job title. Themes included the Future of Water, Brand, Loyalty, Government…
  • 8. Prioritise •Prioritise! (High/Med/Low) •What insights will have most impact upon wider society / the organisation? Groups were asked to prioritise insights based on their potential impact on their ‘World’. Responses varied based on the perspective they took...
  • 9. HIGH PRIORITIES - All four groups placed these Insights as high priorities • Crypto-anarchists • Infeasible retirement • The talent challenge • Influence of China • The funding challenge • Closing the inequality gap • Pop up economies • The climate change challenge • The third space for data • Citizen-centric data • Digital engagement • Age diversified workforces
  • 10. HIGH-ISH PRIORITIES - Two groups placed these foresights as high priorities • Water Wars • Readiness for water scarcity • Chronic diseases • Collaboration and trade-offs • Changing role of government • Joining the dots (Increasing collaboration via social networks) • Increased well-being
  • 11. POTENTIAL BLINDSPOTS* -Issues rated relatively ‘LOW IMPACT’ by three groups. Beware strategic surprise… • Political Stimulus Political consensus creates the conditions for a societal and business operating context more focussed on resource efficiency – including a long-term focus, fiscal stimulus, skills development and greater cross-border collaboration • Hard Choices In a society where there is a widening gulf between rich and poor, the rich may live increasingly separate lives and provide for their own ‘public services’ • Crowd Truthing Such is the influence of the rising data swirl that ‘truth’ may well become what the online crowds agree to: We see a world where ‘crowd truth verification’ is prioritised over search and media *the things that we don’t think are important at the time and so don’t pay any attention to!
  • 12. Narrative development •Develop a story / narrative about the future where the prioritised insights have been realised. For the high priority insights, we then linked them together to create compelling stories and future contexts, and pitched them back to the larger group for feedback.
  • 13. Exemplar narrative: Using the insights above, we created the following narrative: “In the future, an educated and digitally empowered global, connected society will exploit open data sources to reveal globally impactful trends affecting society. They will be frustrated at governments speed of response / inaction and look to businesses to develop and deliver the solution. Businesses will do so as ‘global mindedness’ is now a key organisational pillar of value”.
  • 14. Narrative notes: “Social activism driven by data” • What is the situation today, what is changing? • Climate change & inequality gap • More information and data enables greater awareness and understanding • Speed of information /image transfer around the world – rapid reaction • Business wanting to be seen as responsible in the eyes of society • Inequality across all dimensions – Political, opinion, £/$, enables individual bravery • Part of global community. Greater discussion about issues • Risk of knowing only a little about a lot of things • Knowledge democratised. Everyone feels they should have a voice. Social activism more transitory • Situation in 2025? • Increased opportunity for organisation to take facilitating role, to be conduit of public opinion Nodes / filters • 50 billion connected devices by 2020 (Data) • Developments to extract the signal from the noise (data created by society) • Possibly too much information, too many causes / issues, causing overload. • Businesses as opposed to government have a bigger role to play – creating value / net positive is the new norm • Wider social value is a key decision metric for purchasing decisions (Resources) • Specific examples of the change? • Net positive – Kingfisher group, Eden Project, Crowd sourcing Cells / planets, Opendata.gov, Degree online / OU, Malala being shot / female educaion, head scarves • Get kids out of gangs and into coffee (Kenco) • IoW boatyard – built an inflatable raft (Low cost / rapidly deployable • Assumptions we’re making? • People still care, not paralysed by the number of causes • UK still wants to be global leader (Thought and action) • Own knowledge and culture, west is best? • Tech advances can keep pace with demand for knowledge and data • Knows and don’t knows creates as big a gap as haves and have nots. • Do we all know, understand and agree on what is best? • Islandmentality – do not fundamentally shift to ‘our country first’ mentality with resource • Impact globally? Impact Regionally? • Globally business cares more and takes more posiive decisions about ‘doing’ good, Increased speed of response • Regionally greater accountability and action, greater demand, authentic, honest, transparent decision making. • Data philanthropy enables greater focus and targeted intervention. Micro vs macro needs • Key q’s for RNLI to remain relevant to communities in 2025 • How far to we devolve responsibility to deliver our mission to partnering profit-making organisations and local communities. • How might we increase the granularity of the data we collect, informing our interventions and then how do we make it available to communities to enable them to take action. • Will ends become more important than means?If we are judged on our impact and the difference we make, will we be more open to working in new ways? • How do we add real value to the communities where we operate? How do we encourage society to change and Care (value based organisation). How prepared are we to care about the things communities care about? • How do you find and identify the communities?
  • 15. Narrative notes: “Evolution – an organisation flourishing in the future” • What is the situation today, what is changing? – Issue led groupings – Ephemeral – More flexibility for people to move between trives • Situation in 2025? – More transient relationships and transactional – More informed society and based on data – More free time, ageing population, more engaging societal changes lead to tribal loyalties • Specific examples of the change? – Later life internships – Sabaticals – Joob swaps . Shares – Less security – Open source and open data – Flash engagement (about the activity) – ICE Bucket challenge - Who knew what the cause was? • Assumptions we’re making? – Economic, climate – Freedom of choice – Maslow scale – Issue overload • Impact globally? Impact Regionally? – Short termism – Missing the big one – Community lead causes • Key q’s for RNLI to remain relevant to communities in 2025 – How do the RNLI maintain the appropriate engagement at the right level? – Are we quick and flexible enough to change and rate of change? – Issues – small things that galvanise people without missing the bigger picture – Flexible working and volunteering. More transactional volunteering. How do we take advantage?
  • 16. Narrative Notes: “Delivering more for less…” • What is the situation today, what is changing? – Traditional business models are changing – Individuals can have a bigger impact with technology – Government is done less – Tech changing the way we are working together • Situation in 2025? – Businesses are less tangible – Small government rather than big government – Working week changes – Global workforce (online) • Specific examples of the change? – Reluctance of central government to fund some emergency services provided currently – Air B&B, UBER, Tinder, Bristows, Experts exchange • Assumptions we’re making? – Society will adapt to flexible working and living together – Benefits of short-term business relationships outweigh risks for business – Trust between business and customers Air B&B vs Travelodge • Impact globally? Impact Regionally? – Laptop sweatshops? More / Less inequality? – More home working – Increased global productivity – Agile business models • Key q’s for RNLI to remain relevant to communities in 2025 – Remain open minded about services RNLI provides – integration with NHS and Fire and Rescue Services & SAR Helicopters – How do we define communities in 2025? How do we manage to keep our identity? Does it remain the same? – Will RNLI core services (LB&LG) be in demand in 2025? – Does fleet size and age meet business model? – Need to achieve the balance between good corporate identity for fundraising – and ensuring open and collaborative approaches to working with other NGO’s
  • 17. Narrative notes: “Power of the people…” • What is the situation today, what is changing? – Rise of groups of people (Occupy) passionate about issue, not necessarily informed or balanced, fleeting groundswells – Virtual groundswell that forms a catalyst – challenge to established ways of working – Breakdown of trust in governments • Situation in 2025? – Society becomes less tolerant, more easily offended. Groupsbecome more agile, using technology, groups join forces – Increases in trends, need to collaborate and unusual / unorthodox alliances • Specific examples of the change? – Paralysis of authority – difficulty in sticking to decisions e.g. St Abbs and migrant policy – Paedophile vs paediatric nurse – Crowd truthing – Olive Cook and changes to Charitable governance – UKIP / Greens, Julian Assange, Wikileaks,Snowden • Assumptions we’re making? – I want to be an individual, just like my friends… – People will follow a crowd – Tribal, sense of belonging • Impact globally? Impact Regionally? – Less stable, more reactive (Good and bad) – Global interest in local issues (positive or negative) • Key q’s for RNLI to remain relevant to communities in 2025 – Communities own their own destinies, RNLI governance decreases – Impact on Customer Journeys, no longer linear
  • 18. Question development •Use the story to develop questions about the role of the RNLI in the future scenario. •Questions, when answered, should allow the RNLI to remain relevant to communities 10years from now. From the stories and future world scenarios, we subsequently developed questions that the RNLI may wish to now explore. Such exploration could then be used to inform our future strategic direction. How might we predict what RNLI communities look like in 2025? How might we integrate with other lifesaving community services? How might we keep our identity? (Or does it change?) How might we look if there is no longer any demand for our core LB/LG services? How might we collaborate with NGOs but keep a distinct brand Identity? How might RNLI governance look if communities are highly autonomous? How might the dis- continuous ‘Supporter Journey’ of the future look? How might the dis- continuous ‘Supporter Journey’ of the future look? How might we make big data available to communities to inform their decision making?
  • 19. Question development 2 •Use the story to develop questions about the role of the RNLI in the future scenario. •Questions, when answered, should allow the RNLI to remain relevant to communities 10years from now. From the stories and future world scenarios, we subsequently developed questions that the RNLI may wish to now explore. Such exploration could then be used to inform our future strategic direction. How might we increase the granularity of the data we collect, informing our interventions? How might we find and identify future RNLI communities? How far might we devolve our responsibility to profit making organisations (and communities)? How might we add real value to the communities where we operate? How might we encourage society to change and to care? How might RNLI governance look if communities are highly autonomous? How might we begin to care about the wider things that our communities care about? Will the ends become more important than the means? How might we work if we were judged on impact alone?
  • 20. • These questions will now be prioritised according to impact (if solved) • A programme proposal to tackle the higher ranked challenges will then be created, and circulated for comment and buy in. • This will be owned by Innovation in Transformation, and sponsored by a core VS. From question to answer
  • 21. Next Steps Task Owner Delivery by Share report with attendees and on Yammer Innovation (WR) 20/10/2015 Solicit future foresight work opportunities / needs Innovation (JG/WR) 31/10/2015 Rank / prioritise questions developed in workshop All, led by Innovation 31/10/2015 Develop plan for RNLI Foresight programme Innovation (TR) 15/12/2015 Deliver first Foresight event Innovation (TR) 28th February 2016
  • 22. Will Roberts will_roberts2@rnli.org.uk 01202 336265 Contact Details Tim Robertson Tim_robertson@rnli.org.uk 01202 336265 Please fee free to drop any one of us a line if you would like to know more, help us run your own futures event, or attend any future events as an active participant.