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Blog/July 10, 2014

We Didn’t See It Coming: Strategy and Scenario Planning

We Didn't See It Coming- Strategy and Scenario PlanningWe all have experienced problems in the workplace where a quick decision needs to be made, but the decision requires input from our Vice President of Operations, Business Development Manager in our East Coast office, and President. The best part of the situation is, one of them is away, the other out of the country on business and the last does not feel comfortable making a decision without the whole team. Decisions often are bogged down by months of review, internal discussions, compromise, vacation, and then it becomes too late.

In today’s market, the goal posts are always shifting. Competitors jostle, break away and fall behind, customers want something new and the interaction of government, the economy and international trade exact a complex transition on the overall business environment. The savvy corporate leader will be cognizant of subtle changes in competition, customer demands, the business climate, and the makeup of their own company. However, there is a method to creating plausible, vivid future scenarios, drawing on the key drivers that influence your business today.

In the “real-time” world, leaders are learning to insure themselves against an unpredictable future. Below are a few methods to keep in mind when making decisions.

  1. Prepare for any number of outcomes. As in making decisions in a chess game, it is always important to anticipate the next move of your opponent; in business, it is important to anticipate the next move of your competitors, employers, etc. whenever you make a change in your business strategy or practices.
  2. Stay ahead of trends. Continuing your education will expand your view and knowledge of the industry, stay on top of industry trends, and will also help monitor what your competitors are doing and what prospects and current customers are demanding.
  3. Listen and promote creative thinking. It is important to listen to your staff and promote new ideas. Your staff often works directly with your clients; they can take on subtle business development roles by shedding light on issues and holes they are seeing while managing their day to day business activities.

To learn more about different methods leading design and construction firms have used to explore scenario planning download FMI’s Whitepaper, “Visionaries: How today’s leaders are using future contingencies to plan strategically” by clicking the image below.

We Didn't See It Coming- Strategy and Scenario Planning - 2

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