Future for strategic planning

FutureMap - Start


Most people do not have a very distant time horizon – a couple of years, at most. But sustainable, strategic planning often requires us to look much further into the future. Strategic projections based on time horizons beyond five years are however frequently met with scepticism in the organisation.

FutureMap benefits

  • FutureMap makes it possible to develop multi-annual strategic plans that will be embraced with enthusiasm.
  • This data can also be used by futures researchers and strategic planners wanting to define a temporal limit for horizon scanning and trend analysis.
  • It is a multi-measure method, with an internal validity check, and is based on a clear model of Time Perspective , which makes clear the conceptual relationships between the various dimensions.

The context of the water sector is changing continuously. At the same time, individual organizations within the sector are striving to be sustainable. Some strategies require flexibility and adaptive capacity. But if frequent adaptation is costly, as with investments in infrastructure, then robust solutions are required. Preparedness can play an important role in efficiently solving impeding problems and benefitting optimally from emerging opportunities. An activity is generally considered to be sustainable if it can be continued for the foreseeable future; that is, indefinitely.

But what span of the future can one claim to foresee and how might the limits of the foreseeable be defined?
It turns out that these limits differ significantly across national cultures and, even more so, across professions.
Why is this important? The decisions people make, and the actions they take, depend on how they conceptualize and deal with the foreseeable future.

Questions

Someone making long-term plans for a Drinking Water Company asks themselves whether the chosen milestones will motivate the people who are responsible for realizing the plans.

Wim, Marielle and Andrew

A planner working for a water board or government division asks themself what time horizon they need to focus on for directing strategic horizon scanning activities to signal emerging opportunities and threats in a timely fashion.
At a research institute a planner asks themself which research questions should be prioritized – fundamental research might not produce market-ready solutions on the short-term but growing knowledge and developing tools takes time so waiting to invest in research until the problems have arisen is seldom the best approach.
What is an appropriate time-horizon for expecting return on investments?

Answers

To answer each of these questions insight into the temporal extent of the foreseeable future, and that of the objects which motivate people’s decisions and actions, is exceedingly useful.

With the FutureMap tool you can quantify the foreseeable future of your organization both in terms of certainty and temporal extent using a proven method.


Tool Expert(s)

FutureMap

Andrew Segrave

Futures research KWR

+31 (0) 30 60 69 546
andrew.segrave@kwrwater.nl


Most people do not have a very distant time horizon – a couple of years, at most. But sustainable, strategic planning often requires us to look much further into the future. Strategic projections based on time horizons beyond five years are however frequently met with scepticism in the organisation.

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