We specialize in deepening the insights that lead to good strategy. Re-perceiving the strategic environment leads to breakthrough ideas that resolve strategic dilemmas and reframe critical decisions.
The strategic environment is a constantly changing landscape. Whether of an industry, a government agency, or an NGO, the unfolding landscape needs to be researched and re-mapped with each turn in the road.
An explicit learning process is needed to perceive and interpret developments in the strategic environment that are significant for the future. The ultimate survival of every organization depends on a continual flow of future-oriented information from outside and the flexibility to constantly update prevailing mental models of the strategic situation. We use learning processes that foster openness to external signals and the ability to re-perceive and reinterpret what is happening.
The need for strategic choice is often forced on an organization like an unexpected fork in the road. But no decision exists in isolation, and choices will often look very different when seen in a larger context.
Framing strategic decisions means seeing and defining the choice in terms of emerging issues and shifts in industry structure or the wider socio-economic context. Choices should not be taken at face value as first defined by internal stakeholders. We use anticipatory sense-making to ensure the context and implications of the choice are clearly understood. The choice can then be framed in terms of the most advantageous positioning for the organization.
Good strategy is unique which means there must be a creative innovation at its heart. Futures thinking is therefore about more than re-perception and reframing – it must also be innovative and creative.
Strategy formulation has to be undertaken in the light of the entire present and probable future strategic environment. Analysis is important but cannot provide novel solutions. Only creative insight based on a synthesis of everything that has been learned can provide a genuinely unique and effective strategic approach. We apply creative thinking principles to transcend existing strategic assumptions and achieve creative breakthroughs.
Organizations and individuals seek futures that are a blend of objective external factors and subjective psychological factors, both existing and anticipated. We work with all of these to facilitate the achievement of better futures.
Our future focusing process uses our 'star, mountain, chessboard, self' framework – allowing you to understand possible futures, articulate your desired future, and develop options to accomplish it. The beliefs you need to reach goals, and the beliefs that constrain you, are identified and restructured. By working with your hopes and fears, and your path of greatest potential, you can open up fresh avenues to positive futures. This process applies to both organizations and individuals.
Technology platforms are the basis of major industries, a primary focus of investment, and the support structures of society. Understanding how these technologies are advancing is an important background for many of our projects.
Our unique perspective on the future of critical technologies – for example the changing nature of future energy supply – has been developed over the course of many research and consulting projects. Much of our work is focused on the changing shape and future pattern of enabling technology systems such as energy supply, transport, food production, and information networks. We can offer a insightful view on the future of technology which can help guide policy and investment decisions.
Society is constantly evolving and also seeking solutions to the major issues in today's global system. These dual lines of development foreshadow a future civilization based on significantly different values and principles.
Our cultural change research aims to chart the future shape of society as it moves through the transition beyond industrial modernity. There are signs of emerging post-materialist cultural values that are steadily replacing the values of modernity. There are also indications of a future 'planetary operating system' consisting of a hierarchy of human, natural and technical ecosystems. We are exploring how this would operate, as an input to advanced thinking about national, urban and community futures.