Future proof: How good are you at strategic planning?
How do you prepare for the future so your organisation survives and thrives? That’s the topic of our new report “Future Proof: Eleven hacks to navigate uncertain times”.
We know what doesn’t work: current approaches to business planning. Only one in ten Fortune 500 companies from 1955 remain on that list today. The average age of an S&P 500 Index business is down from 60 years in the 1950s to just 20 years today.
Most businesses fail to monitor massive external risks. Those that do tend to do so once every year, three years or five years as they update their strategic plans. Even then, the focus tends to be on traditional financial risk. Why?
In just over ten years we’ve had four massive external issues totally disrupting economies and destroying businesses. We’ve had the financial crash, the pandemic, the Ukraine war and the climate crisis. And yet we continue with outdated approaches to strategic planning. It’s no wonder that the lifespan of companies is decreasing.
We’ve identified over 100 seismic issues currently facing business and government. Many of these issues have the potential to destroy your business or, on the positive side, create huge new revenue streams. And yet, few are approaching external issues strategically. The result is massively increased risk for shareholders, employees, customers and communities.
And yet, there are practical actions you can take to reduce risk and improve your ability to shape the future in uncertain times. They include: a continuous review of external context, appointing a Chief Context Officer, regular Board reviews, increased comfort with debate and creating company-wide cultures of innovation. There are a lot more in our new report.
Which type are you?
There are three main approaches to long-term planning:
- Just cross your fingers and handle the fallout when something happens.
- Review long-term contextual issues every few years.
- Keep your finger on the pulse of context continuously and update your long-term plan at least once a year.
Let’s remove the first option of doing nothing and leave you with a choice of two. What kind of business are you?
Over the next few months, we’ll explore new ways of tuning into the future to improve your chances of success. It doesn’t involve predictions. But it does involve smart, granular thinking to predict and prepare for coming storms.
Corporate Culture Group
To receive a copy of our new Future Proof report, please click here.