Maree Conway Association of University Administrators Conference April 2007

• 25+ years as a manager in higher education and TAFE, in a range of institutions in Brisbane and Melbourne, and in a range of jobs (student admin, faculty admin, secretariat, policy, planning, quality and statistics). Almost 15 of those years at Swinburne University - in six jobs.
• Five internal re-structures at Swinburne led me to foresight in 1999, when I established a Foresight and Planning unit that lasted until 2004. • After the demise of foresight at Swinburne, I moved to Victoria University in March 2005 to pursue futures work (as well as quality, planning, statistics and surveys).


• Enrolled in Masters in Strategic Foresight at Swinburne.
• Planning a PhD on the conflicting and converging images of the future held by academics and administrators in universities. • Consulting work (scenario planning) internally at Swinburne and VU, for government (eg DEST, Centrelink) and business organisations (eg Gold Coast Water). • Practitioner focus - how to use futures approaches in strategy development processes in universities and organisations.

and • passion and commitment don‟t matter if there isn‟t a shared view about what the Association‟s core business is.A BIT ABOUT ME • My other life is working with ATEM: • to build ATEM‟s profile in the sector. 4 . • What I‟ve learned: • people find it very hard to „let go‟ of deeply held assumptions and ways of thinking and operating (ATEM has spent 30 years struggling with its identity). and • to build understanding of administrators and managers about what it means to be “professional‟. • to develop the emerging profession of tertiary education administration and management. and where the Association is going in the future.

5 . • To explore how futures approaches may be appropriate in your institution (lessons from practice).TODAY • Learning Outcomes • To appreciate the essential differences between strategic thinking. strategic decision making and strategic planning. • To use an integral model to design strategy and planning frameworks.

• I work in a university and use them as my reference point. • Participate as much or little as you want.TODAY • Will be working fast today and covering a lot of material to provide an introduction to a futures perspective on strategic planning. 6 . but applies to all types of educational institutions. • Please interrupt and ask questions as we go along.

Strategic Planning? Or Strategy Development and Implementation? 2. Futures in Strategy Development & Implementation 4.TODAY 1. Futures • • • What is Futures? Why futures? Integral Futures 3. But … this wouldn‟t work in my institution! Or would it? Lessons from Practice 7 . Building a Strategic Foresight Capacity 5.


WHAT IS STRATEGIC PLANNING? • What are we talking about? • Your definitions? 9 .

STRATEGIC PLANNING • Strategic planning is not about planning strategically. • Strategic planning is the process of documenting an plan to implement and monitor an agreed strategy. but … 10 . • Just semantics? Perhaps.

• “While the need for planning has never been greater. 1994:5). • “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. the relevance of most of today‟s planning systems and tools is increasingly marginal” (Fuller. 2000:2). 2003:2). 11 .STRATEGIC PLANNING • “Planning lacks a clear definition of its own place in organizations” (Mintzberg.

is what we commonly understand to be strategic planning the whole game? 12 .So.

STRATEGIC PLANNING? No … it‟s the last step … Strategic Planning Taking Action How will we do it? Actions 13 .

Strategic Decision Making Making choices What will we do? Decisions But … what informs that decision? 14 .STRATEGIC PLANNING? The Vice-Chancellor usually ends up making the ultimate strategy decision.

What informs strategy at your institution? 15 .STRATEGIC PLANNING? Strategic Thinking Generating Options What might happen? Options Strategic thinking is probably the least defined and least well understood part of the strategy process.

16 .STRATEGIC PLANNING? • Strategic planning is but one of three interdependent and overlapping steps in the development and implementation of strategy.

STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION Strategic Thinking Generating Options What might happen? Options Strategic Decision Making Making choices What will we do? Decisions Strategic Planning Taking Action How will we do it? Actions 17 .

• Each step has a distinct focus. it blurs the boundaries between the three steps. 18 . • Each step needs different methods and approaches.STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION • Differentiating among the three steps is important. • It is simpler to use „strategic planning‟ but.

choices.STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION • Strategic thinking: synthetic. inductive. deductive. deals with incomplete information • Strategic decision making: options. staying on track 19 . intuitive. decisions. logical. destinations • Strategic planning: analytical.

REFLECTION: STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION • Can you describe your institution‟s strategic thinking processes? 20 .

while it is more words and harder to say quickly .STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION • So.. • strategy development and implementation is a more accurate term for what we are talking about (SDI?) • But.. where does a futures perspective come into it? 21 .

Futures Approaches and Methods Strategic Thinking Generating Options What might happen?


Strategic Decision Making Making choices What will we do?


Strategic Planning Taking Action How will we do it?





• Foresight: an often unconscious individual capacity to think about the future. • Strategic Foresight: an organisational foresight capacity. • Futures: the broad academic field now developing globally; interdisciplinary and inclusive in its approach. • Futurists: those who work in futures, either as academics, consultants (outside organisations) and as practitioners within organisations. • Scenario planning: a futures methodology.

25 . methods and tools that are available for us to use to develop a foresight capacity. It is a capacity that we need to develop as individuals. as organisations. and to the field in which futurists work. and as a society. • 'Futures' refers both to the research.FORESIGHT?? FUTURES?? • „Foresight‟ is the capacity to think systematically about the future to inform today's decision making.

using any combination of the past. desires and needs. and • to explore the by using their powers of foresight and decision-making.asp 26 . present knowledge. can select from a wide range of future trajectories and outcomes. imagination. are not set on a deterministic path to a single unitary future but. • to highlight that individuals. unintended and unrecognised consequences of social action.FUTURES STUDIES • Futures Studies is an emerging academic discipline focused around the development of alternative futures: • to assist people in choosing and creating the most desirable future.cambridgeuniversityfutures. Source: http://www. cultures etc.

• The future is not predictable – we have choices.FUTURES PRINCIPLES • There is always more than one future. and Voros 27 . Adapted from Amara. we have a responsibility to act wisely in the present. • The future can be influenced – there are consequences of our choices and action today for future generations. • Hence. • The future is not pre-determined – we have alternatives.

org/fgtough2.A MESSAGE FROM FUTURE GENERATIONS… • You are alive at a pivotal moment in humanity‟s development. We strongly care about your choices.wfs. of course. We live downstream from you in time.htm 28 . Your era is marked by positive and negative potentials of such newness and magnitude that you can hardly understand them. Allen Tough. You are making some of the most important choices in human history. http://www. Through your public policies and daily lives. since we benefit or suffer from them quite directly. the people of your era have tremendous power to influence the future course of humanity‟s story. whatever you put into the stream flows on to our era. A Message from Future Generations.

29 . not the future itself.FUTURES PRINCIPLES • We cannot „know‟ the future in the same way that we „know‟ the present. • Futures work explores ideas about the future. • There are no future „facts‟.

50 plus years from now 30 .FUTURES TIME • Near Term Future .50 years from now • Far Future .20 .20 years from now • Long Range Future .Up to one year from now • Short Term Future – 1-5 years from now • Mid-Term Future .5 .

• We can deny past acts. • But.FUTURES TIME • From our vantage point of the present. • We need to understand our worldview and how we see and make sense of the past. we interpret the past. present and future. and we anticipate the future. we have blind spots. depending on our perspective in the present. and we can avoid/negate future acts. 31 .

Economics. Hopes. Images. Demographics. Science etc FUTURE CONSTRAINTS 32 .FUTURES PUSH AND PULL PRESENT Ideas. Fears Technology.

which lies in the medium term future ‘The Self’— Our values and attributes as a strategic player Strategic identity: • Current reality • Self-knowledge • Strengths and weaknesses • Values • Preferences and experience “Star.THE FUTURE AS A STRATEGIC LANDSCAPE ‘The Star’— Our enduring and guiding social role The purpose of the organization • A “future-focused role image” • Not completed or “used up” The strategic objective: ‘The Mountain’— What we hope to achieve • A compelling. self” image © 1999 33 . mountain. but achievable ‘The Chessboard’— Issues and challenges we are likely to face The strategic environment: • Strategic implementation and tactics • Threats and opportunities • Actions of other strategic actors • Driving forces • Mapped and understood using scenarios The ‘self’ journeys across the chessboard to the mountain. specific goal • A challenge. chessboard. relevant future • BHAG—“Big Hairy Audacious Goal” • A concrete.

TYPES OF FUTURES Potential – all futures.“likely to” happen (current trends) • Preferable .“might” happen (future knowledge) • Plausible – “could” happen (current knowledge) • Probable . imagined or not yet imagined • Possible .“want to” happen (value judgements) 34 .

TYPES OF FUTURES “Wildcard” Scenario Possible Plausible Probable Preferable Today Time 35 .

things happening


“what seems to be happening?” “what’s really happening?”


Copyright © 2000 Joseph Voros

“what might happen?”
“what might we need to do?”


“what will we do?” “how will we do it?”



All our knowledge is about the past, but all our decisions are about the future.

What we don‟t know we don‟t know

What we know we don‟t know

What we know Most of what we need to know to make good decisions today is outside our comprehension: we don‟t even know it‟s there.


“: Pierre Pachet. 1872 President of the Royal Society. 1895 their limit. 1st Century AD Professor of Physiology at Toulouse. • “Heavier than air flying machines are not possible”: Lord Kelvin.BECAUSE THINGS CHANGE! • “Inventions have long since reached for future development”: Roman engineer Sextus Julius Frontinus." Robert Millikan. and I see no hope • "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction. Nobel Prize in Physics. Professor of Economics. 1923 • “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau”: Irving Fisher. • "There is no likehood man can ever tap the power of the atom. 1929 • “Space flight is hokum”: Astronomer Royal. 1956 39 . Yale University.

1943 • "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home”: Ken Olson.S. and guitar music is on the way out”: Decca Recording Co. rejecting The Beatles. homeland can be considered one of the more fortunate aspects of the American experience”: Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) for the US Dept of Defence. 1962.BECAUSE THINGS CHANGE! • “We don‟t like their sound. Chairman of IBM. • “I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers”: Thomas Watson. 2001 40 . founder of Digital Equipment. 1977 • “640K [of RAM] ought to be enough for anybody”: Bill Gates. 1981 • “The fact that conflicts with other countries [producing civilian casualties] have been conducted away from the U.

ottoscharmer.BECAUSE THINGS CHANGE! • “We live in a time of clashing conflict and massive institutional failures.” C Otto Scharmer. an old way of institutionalizing and enacting collective social forms. a time of endings and of beginnings. A time that feels as if something profound is shifting and dying while something else … wants to be born … The crisis of our time is about the dying of an old social structure. 2005 41 .

BECAUSE THINGS CHANGE! • At a time when human societies are altering the fundamental conditions of life on planet • Short term thinking is a major systemic defect within the industrial worldview. the dominant outlook remains a focus on short term thinking. Richard Slaughter. • The world we are creating leads to Dystopian 42 . 2003 www.

and • find ways of understanding possible futures that are only just emerging.WHY THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE? • Because: • it is largely unknown. • it helps to assess the potential future risk of action we are considering today 43 . unpredictable and nondetermined. so we need to: • try and understand that uncertainty to make sense of what is going on today. unpredictable.

individually and collectively.WHY THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE? • And because: • we create the future through our actions and decisions today. so we need to pay attention to it • we are responsible for future generations as well as ourselves • and … you want to avoid saying something that sounds really smart at the time but which ends up as a quote in a presentation like this 20 years later  44 .

It isn‟t even a best fit pattern match. logical decisions based on information input.WORLDVIEWS… • Humans do not make rational. but a first fit pattern match … The human brain is also subject to habituation. things that we do frequently create habitual patterns which both enable rapid decision making. or collective experience expressed as stories. but also entrain behaviour in such a manner that we literally do not see things that fail to match the patterns of our expectations. Dave Snowden 2003: 1 45 . instead they pattern match with either their own experience.

The more fashionable an idea. the more it is likely to be exempt from critical evaluation. Tracking the Forces That Are Shaping Your Business.WORLDVIEWS… • The majority is not always right. Breakthrough thinking sometimes calls for contradicting the most widely held assumptions and beliefs. Karl Albrecht Corporate Radar. and the accepted doctrine could well be flawed. 1999. the conventional wisdom is not always wise. 46 .

it‟s okay (or it should be) to say “No. and how we see the world. • Understanding what our blind spots are – what is it that we don‟t see because of who we are.WORLDVIEWS (THE INNER PERSPECTIVE) • Being aware of our particular worldviews.” 47 . And. just different. I don‟t see the world in the way that you do. • Being open to accepting different worldviews – not better or worse. our expectations.

REFLECTION: WORLDVIEWS (THE INNER PERSPECTIVE) • Can you identify assumptions underpinning your worldview? 48 .


com) • SDI using the four quadrants • Understanding your role in the process 50 .INTEGRAL FUTURES • Integral Futures • Ken Wilber‟s four quadrants (www.kenwilber.

51 . • Recognises that there are many ways of knowing.INTEGRAL FUTURES • A holistic view of all phenomenon. philosophies. sciences and approaches. and that no one way is dominant. • Integrating Eastern and Western traditions. not just the empirically observable or quantitative.

WILBER’S FOUR QUADRANTS Interior Exterior Intentional “I” Upper Left Behavioural “It” Upper Right Individual Collective Cultural “We” Lower Left Social “Its” Lower Right 52 .


creates shared context The collective external world 54 . beliefs attitudes and meaning Intentional “I” Observed Behaviour Behavioural “It” Social “Its” Individual Collective Cultural “We” Cultural context of the individual.FOUR QUADRANTS: INDIVIDUAL Interior Exterior Individual values.

FOUR QUADRANTS: ORGANISATION Interior Exterior Staff Organisational Behaviour Individual Collective Organisational Culture External Positioning and Relationships 55 .

Delphi. Interviews Exterior Inclusive Planning and Decision Making Processes: Strategic Planning Workshops. SWOT. Scenario Planning etc. Understanding the Internal Environment: Casual Layered Analysis.FOUR QUADRANTS: SDI Interior Views of Staff: Focus Groups. Slaughter‟s Transformative Cycle. Strategic Plans Individual Collective Understanding the External Environment: Scanning. Anthropological approaches 56 .

com 57 .FOUR QUADRANTS: SDI Interior Staff Exterior Visible and measurable Business as Usual We don‟t get rewarded for how well we think or understand culture. so we don‟t spend much time here We get rewarded for our performance here.kenwilber. so we spend most time here Individual Collective Organisational Culture Strategy and „Fit” Invisible & not measurable Ken Wilber‟s Four Quadrant Model http://www.

beliefs attitudes – your perspective and worldview.UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLE Interior Exterior Individual values. your meaning Observed Behaviour Individual Collective Cultural External 58 .

What we don‟t know we don‟t know What we know we don‟t know What we know Most of what we need to know to make good decisions today is outside our comprehension: we don‟t even know it‟s there. 59 . but all our decisions are about the future.WHY THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE? All our knowledge is about the past.

Interior What we don‟t know we don‟t know What we know we don‟t know What we know Exterior What we don‟t know we don‟t know What we know we don‟t know What we know Individual Collective What we don‟t know we don‟t know What we know we don‟t know What we know What we don‟t know we don‟t know What we know we don‟t know What we know 60 .

61 .INTEGRAL FUTURES • The future is not just „out there‟. but „in here‟ as well.

REFLECTION: INTEGRAL FUTURES • How is information about staff views of the future collected at your institution? 62 .


THE HOME OF FUTURES IN SDI Futures Approaches and Methods Strategic Thinking Generating Options What might happen? Options Strategic Decision Making Making choices What will we do? Decisions Strategic Planning Taking Action How will we do it? Action 64 .

GENERIC FORESIGHT MODEL Inputs things happening Analysis Interpretation “what seems to be happening?” “what’s really happening?” Foresight Prospection Outputs Copyright © 2000 Joseph Voros “what might happen?” “what might we need to do?” Strategy “what will we do?” “how will we do it?” 65 .

What’s happening? Foresight What seems to be happening? What’s really happening? What might happen? FUTURES AND SDI Strategic Thinking Generating Options What might happen? Options What might we need to do? What will we do? Strategic Decision Making Making choices What will we do? Decisions How will we do it? Strategic Planning Taking Action How will we do it? Action 66 .

FUTURES AND SDI Input What’s happening? Right hand quadrants Gathering Analysis What seems to be happening? Categorising Interpretation Contextualising Sense Making Innovation Left hand quadrants What’s really happening? Prospection What might happen? 67 .

social scanning (at level of country) 68 . Collect qualitative and quantitative information. Aims to merge upper left and lower right quadrant activity.FUTURES AND SDI: INPUT Input Information Focus on past. • • Delphi Genius based – sampling of expert opinions. competitive intelligence. environmental scanning. present and future. reducing divergence over a series of surveys (Japan‟s futures program does this well) Gathering Environmental Scanning • Voros . business intelligence. • Choo (1998) – different levels: competitor intelligence.4Q/11L scanning – taking into account both the worldview of the scanner and the worldviews of the users of the information. Integrating spiral dynamics into the equation.

Emerging Issues Analysis – looks earlier in the trend cycle to identify issues before they emerge in the mainstream. useful for short-term work. Analysis What seems to be happening? Forecasting – extrapolates trends out. Categorising Cross Impact Analysis – how trends interact and impact on each other.FUTURES AND SDI: ANALYSIS Current approaches at this level are largely quantitative in nature. Trend Analysis – data over time. underpinned by assumptions about how data is behaving – those assumptions condition what we see in the data. 69 . Moving beyond quantitative data focus.

trends and megatrends Number of cases. radicals. mystics Mainstream Trends Late Adopters Emerging Issues Few cases.FUTURES AND SDI: ANALYSIS Global. multiple dispersed cases. Wendy Schultz and Everett Rogers 70 . websites. local focus Today Innovators Time Early adopters Worldview issues will affect uptake at this stage – “I don’t believe that!” Future Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor. journals Government Institutions Late Majority Laggards Scientists. artists. degree of public awareness Look on the fringe (weird and whacky!) Newspapers. magazines.

71 . Decisions are made once interpretation has occurred. Contextualising Sense Making Interpretation What’s really happening? Most strategy work stops at this step. Making sense of the data for the organisation.FUTURES AND SDI: INTERPRETATION Interpreting the analysis for the organisation‟s context.

Myths “Core” Human Intelligences Copyright © 2001 Joseph Voros 72 .FUTURES AND SDI: INTERPRETATION Levels of Structure News Items Recurring Themes Underlying “Drivers” Events Patterns. Worldviews. Metaphors. Trends System Structure Mental Models Thinking Systems Mindsets.

and layers of depth – how deeply do we want to go in interpretation? What is appropriate for my organisation? 73 .FUTURES AND SDI: INTERPRETATION • What‟s really happening????? • Aim to challenge categories of analysis in the previous step – what does it mean? • There are layers of reality.

grand unifying principles are sought. how social systems change. • Causal Layered Analysis (Sohail Inayatullah): • • • • Litany Social causes Worldview Myth/metaphor Particularly good for digging deep to find those valued assumptions • How do you challenge the prevailing worldview and assumptions underpinning it? What will your organisation be comfortable with? 74 .FUTURES AND SDI: INTERPRETATION • Macrohistory – cycles of large scale change over time.

futures workshops. Prospection Innovation What might happen? 75 . Deriving a broader range of strategy options from the analysis: what options are available to us in the longterm? What might be the impact of those options in the longterm? What will influence those options? What are potential obstacles? Scenarios.FUTURES AND SDI: PROSPECTION Focus on the future. visioning.

FUTURES AND SDI: PROSPECTION Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Inductive Scenario 4 Deductive Vision Alternative scenario Official Future Incremental Normative Adapted from Ged Davis. Shell International. Scenarios as aTool for the 21st Century. 2002 76 .


REFLECTION: FUTURES AND SDI • What methods would you use to establish strategy processes underpinned by futures input at your institution? 78 .


• Foresight is the capacity to think systematically about the future to inform today's decision making.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • Foresight: an often unconscious individual capacity to think about the future. as organisations. It is a capacity that we need to develop as individuals. 80 . and as a society. • Strategic Foresight: an organisational foresight capacity.

• How do you think strategically? How does an organisation „think‟ strategically? • Can only the executive of an organisation think strategically? 81 . • A decision is made only after some strategic thinking has taken place.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • Planning happens only after a decision has been made – you plan how you will implement the decision and keep track of achieving your goal.

• thinking about how the organisation might respond in terms of risks and opportunities if those scenarios came true – Van der Heijden‟s „strategic conversations‟. 82 . • using that information and data to consider a range of alternative and plausible scenarios about what might happen in the future. including that held by individuals.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • Strategic thinking is about systematically and routinely: • using a wide range of information and data from the past and the present. and • making decisions based on the enhanced understanding that results.

the one that‟s written in our vision and mission statements. or the „official‟ future (also known as “let‟s bet the farm cos I know best” sometimes espoused by some Vice-Chancellors). and this view of the future dominates … decision making (Hodgson. • This is sometimes called the „official‟ future . • Not thinking about the future risks depending on a business-as-usual approach. 2004). 83 . strategic planning as we know it today creates a default scenario: • A future that validates the plan.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • Without explorations of what the future might hold.

• Successful strategy development deals with both . people implement or undermine strategy. 84 . and recognises their interconnections and interdependencies. ultimately. dreams and images of the future held by individuals in the organisation.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • Strategic thinking involves exploring: • Lower Left and Lower Right Quadrant factors in the internal and external environment that are critical uncertainties for the organisation.because. and • Upper Left Quadrant hopes.

BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • There will be many. • You need overt organisational processes to be able to articulate images of the future. you need processes that engage people as individuals. • Because images reside in the Upper Left Quadrant. many competing images of the future.begin to emerge. 85 . Only when those images are articulated can the possibility of a shared view of the future – and a shared strategy .

86 . organisational capacity.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • All individuals have the capacity for foresight – we use that capacity every day. • The aim is to move that individual capacity to a shared.

BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY Individual foresight is: unconscious implicit solitary Individuals recognise and build their foresight capacity Strategic Foresight is: conscious explicit collective 87 Individuals begin to talk about and use futures approaches in their work Individual capacities generate organisational capacity (through structures & processes) Adapted from the work of Joseph Voros and Richard Slaughter .

BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • Generates a challenge: strategic foresight takes time to develop because: • we are dealing with how people think. 88 . • we are asking people to question their thinking and to surface the assumptions upon which their thinking is based – this is often scary and uncomfortable.

it is easy to dismiss the need to think about the future. I get paid to produce results” (Corporate Director). in today‟s „business‟ environment. • “I don‟t get paid to think about the future. and it‟s an insult that you are here to teach me how to think” (Deputy Vice-Chancellor). 89 . • “I am too busy dealing with the here and now to think about the future” (University Council member).BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • And. • “I think about the future every day.

• We can speak confidently about the past and the present (or seem like we are). but it is difficult to speak confidently about the future. • We are rewarded for certainty in the present. not uncertainty about the future. 90 . we are rewarded not for thinking about the future.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • In our jobs. but for results in the present.

• How do we incorporate thinking about uncertainty. thinking about the future. strategy is about the future.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • But. • Thinking about the future is thinking about uncertainty. and hence. into our decision making processes? • How do we demonstrate the value of taking time out in the present to consider long term issues to inform decision making today? 91 .

wanting to make strategy for the future.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY 1927 2007 2027 Past Present Future Strategy Decisions We start in the present. 92 .

93 . we add in the past. maybe taking those trends a few years into the future.BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY 1927 2007 2027 Past Present Future Strategy Decisions Strategic Hindsight With the power of strategic hindsight. and focus on trends over time.

94 .BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY 1927 2007 2027 Past Present Future Strategy Decisions Strategic Hindsight Strategic Foresight To enhance your future strategy and make wiser decisions. you need to use the power of strategic foresight to explore the future – just as you explore the past and the present.

REFLECTION: BUILDING A STRATEGIC FORESIGHT CAPACITY • How will you convince whoever needs to be convinced of the value of strategic thinking using a futures approach? 95 .


LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • • • • • • • • • Language Maintaining Support at the Top Organisational Positioning Organisational Context and Politics Thinking is Work Too People Implementation Worldviews and Assumptions – the „glazed eye‟ syndrome Knowledge 97 .

LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Language • Get used to crystal ball jokes • Choose terms that will be understood • Develop clear and unequivocal messages about what you are doing. and why you are doing it • Stay strong! 98 .

but executive group • in my experience. but critical • Need to ensure futures work is not dependent on an individual • Need a CEO who will support you and follow through • Not only CEO. it is this group that has the real influence on the degree to which futures work is accepted 99 .LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Maintaining Support at the Top • Obvious.

• At organisational level.LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Organisational Positioning • Setting up an organisational futures program is different to using futures approaches in your work. • In your work. needs clear mandate and support. The Viable Systems Model (VSM) is useful here. will depend on your job and your boss! 100 .

You need to understand these.LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Organisational Context and Politics • This is the one I misread badly. • Who needs to be involved? • Who can derail your work? • Futures work competes with the power of people‟s egos and personal positionings. 101 . animosities and ambitions.

LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Thinking is Work Too • Convincing people to take time out to participate in futures work will be difficult. • We need to start viewing thinking as work too. 102 . • How many of you have commented along the lines of … “if only I had time to think?” • And. how many think planning workshops and retreats are usually a waste of time? • We need to schedule in time to think.

but once you started this foresight work. things went downhill‟ (said a DVC to me) • While you need to maintain support at the top. • Feedback to my work suggests they like and see value in the prospective stage in particular (scenarios and creating futures) 103 .LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • People • People doing futures work need established credibility and goodwill. because this work will strain working relationships: • „you were well respected when you worked in the teaching divisions. you will probably find that people at the „grass roots‟ are more open to futures.

104 . not present them with pre-packaged views of where the university should be going.LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Implementation • • • • • Conceptual framework Strong methodology Clear project plan – purpose and structure. roles and responsibilities Communication strategy – explain why there is value Differentiate between content and process • If we are to find out what staff think about the future. • Long term – this will take time. we need to let them tell us.

very difficult. 105 . and what you miss altogether. • Challenging deeply held assumptions is critical but very. • Watch out for your own worldview – develop a strong.LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Worldviews • Watch out for the „glazed eye syndrome‟ (you are hitting a strong worldview when this happens). reflective understanding of how you see the world – what you look for.

106 .LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Knowledge • Need to have a firm grounding in the futures field and concepts. • Reading a book is not enough (and deluded!) • If you are serious about this work. or use a futures consultant who specialises in knowledge transfer as part of the deal. get a qualification in it.

but it will also be some of the most rewarding and exciting work you have ever done.LESSONS FROM PRACTICE • Doing futures work is both challenging and very hard work. 107 . and it will change the way you see the world. • It will change the way you think.

CLOSE 108 .

analysis. deciding. present and future Integral approach – consider both inner and outer worlds/perspectives Understand your worldview and accept the worldviews of others Generic foresight model (input.STRATEGIC PLANNING REVISITED: SOME KEY MESSAGES • • • • • • • • Terminology: SDI Three steps (thinking. interpretation. doing) Responsibility for future generations Past. prospection) Strategic thinking and strategic foresight • Any others? 109 .

REFLECTION: BACK TO WORK • Consider … what messages will you take back to your institution about this session? • Nothing? That‟s okay  • How will you describe this session to colleagues who did not attend? 110 .

Scharmer 2005). • You are very busy. • Where can you make a difference? Because you can. • But you will be at the cutting edge in strategy development…and sometimes that hurts! 111 .BACK TO WORK • You are but one person in your institution. You often feel overwhelmed (“the heat of an ever increasing workload and pressure to do even more”.

but will jump ship.BACK TO WORK PITCH MESSAGE HERE Have good organisational diagnostics: can smell the cheese. Don‟t bother – they are waiting for you to fail! They will follow you blindly – just like lemmings! Andy Hines. and can use the system – very rare. Get it. An Audit for Organizational Futurists: 10 Questions Every Organizational Futurist Should be Able to Answer. 2003 112 .

organizational. This unfortunately remains the small minority of situations.” (Hines. but changing an entire organisation “requires an enlightened CEO and upper management that sees the need for this thinking. community/social and global level”. on a personal. 2002) 113 .LAST WORD … ALMOST • “…using futures thinking and tools improves our decisionmaking and our lives.

they will develop long term vision and a kind of forward looking prescience … strategic foresight can supply a coherent forward view that will be a cornerstone of organisational success in the 21st century. asking the right questions and nurturing the right people.LAST WORD … REALLY “The near term future can be clearly understood by developing the right capacities.” (Slaughter. The careful use of such resources provides organisational access to an evolving structural overview of the next couple of decades … Organisations that participate effectively in this process will find a range of valuable outcomes: they will seldom be overtaken by change. 2004) 114 . they will find it easy to avoid problems and seize opportunities. they will not succumb to crisis management.

net Tel: 03 90169506 Skype: mkconway1 Questions? 115 .conway@thinkingfutures.More information: maree.

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