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The world, as we are constantly reminded, can be divided into two types of people: those who believe that major social and political changes still lie ahead; and those who are convinced that the world, reacting to the tumultuous changes of the past decade, will return to a new era of “normaley,” if not of tranquillity.
Times change and, with them, our approaches to strategy and its execution. In the 1970s, strategic planning was the corporate mantra in most companies. But as we moved into a new decade, strategic planning was tarred with the brush of “failure to implement.” In the 1980s, the corporate and consulting world was a‐buzz with strategic management—the new and improved version of setting direction and creating shareholder wealth. Now, in the 1990s, the focus is strategic leadership.
The most apparent difference between planning and futurism is their respective time horizons. Whereas corporate plans span, on an average, three to seven years, many…
The most apparent difference between planning and futurism is their respective time horizons. Whereas corporate plans span, on an average, three to seven years, many prospective futures studies cover between ten and thirty years. The most obvious bridge could be built by stretching the planning time period and shrinking that of futurism, so that part of their projections would overlap.
Throughout the 1960s the marketing concept was a dominant guideline that became a pervasive force within the entire organization. Strategic planning, with its emphasis on…
Throughout the 1960s the marketing concept was a dominant guideline that became a pervasive force within the entire organization. Strategic planning, with its emphasis on the formulation of the business mission, the identification of strategic alternatives, and contingency planning, became the direction of the 1970s. Therefore, it is surprising to find, after all this emphasis on the identification and satisfaction of customer needs and the necessity for planning and strategy, that few organizations have found a way to link future planning with marketing planning and strategy. Futuristics is the science or art of anticipating and planning for the future. In most firms, strategy is still developed for less than a threeyear period. There are only a small number of companies that have been able to link planning with the development of strategy in a time frame of more than five years. These firms have come to realize that: Business decisions have grown more complex as a result of a changing marketing environment, The only way to ensure profitability and survival is to provide an organizational structure that can develop long‐range planning.
What the Future Holds for Today's Managers. In the January 1975 issue of Manager's Forum, a distinguished group of futurists speculated on some of the potential forces with which the executive will have to wrestle in the future. Specifically, they were asked to identify what the major forces affecting business between now and 1985 would be. Their replies were as follows:
A discussion on the need for integration of distance learning into regular courses to ensure quality of education for all. Face‐to‐face students and distance learners…
A discussion on the need for integration of distance learning into regular courses to ensure quality of education for all. Face‐to‐face students and distance learners should exist in the same communication environment, and faculty who introduce new technology in this way should be rewarded.
Forecasting is a natural part of human behaviour and experience whether we explicitly realise it or not. For all of us are continually implementing plans as we go about our daily living and these plans must necessarily be founded upon views about the future i.e. upon forecasts. These forecasts may, of course, be very imprecise and it may be argued that to dignify such an imprecise and unstructured process as ‘forecasting’ is to misuse the term. Then again we may rely for our main forecasts on views of experts such as weathermen, modifying them to suit our own particular needs. What is true for the individual is also true for the firm in its approach to forecasting. It may be very imprecise and unstructured and a good deal of reliance may be placed on the views of experts such as economic forecasters. However, the purpose of this article is to argue that forecasting may be conducted in a systematic manner, despite all the pitfalls to be enumerated, and to explain the growth of the forecasting activity in industry and its role.
Corporate planning has had cyclical popularity since its inception in the '50s. There was a period in the late '50s when growing interest in the subject made “planning” a…
Corporate planning has had cyclical popularity since its inception in the '50s. There was a period in the late '50s when growing interest in the subject made “planning” a buzz word, but by the early '60s, many executives had come to feel that planning was a ritual with no measurable pay‐off. This attitude caused a rebirth in more serious planning, resulting in what today is known as strategic planning. In the early '70s, planning again fell into disrepute as planners were blamed for not foreseeing many of the problems that faced business. Today, as we approach the end of the '70s, planning is again an important function for management, but the task of the planner has evolved to include the conversion of plans to meaningful action—a challenge that has resided implicitly with the planner, but has seldom been successfully realized.
The Founding of the Centre The Centre was founded in March 1974 as the operating arm of the Equilibrium Fund, which was founded in 1970 as the Zero Population Growth Fund…
The Founding of the Centre The Centre was founded in March 1974 as the operating arm of the Equilibrium Fund, which was founded in 1970 as the Zero Population Growth Fund. The Centre is governed directly by the Equilibrium Fund Trustees and was launched under limited support from three foundations and several individuals. Development plans call for a small but highly qualified core staff of six or seven, and for a substantial portion of project work by outside consultants and volunteers.
The author, a veteran futurist, aims to trace the history of the scenario process, starting with those developed by the Shell team that anticipated an OPEC manipulation of…
The author, a veteran futurist, aims to trace the history of the scenario process, starting with those developed by the Shell team that anticipated an OPEC manipulation of oil supplies and prices that occurred in 1973. Largely on the basis of the Shell scenario's brilliant insight, the methodology initially seemed to offer organizations a chance to bet on the future before it happened.
The paper describes how the best practices in the scenario process identified in this historical review can be adopted by current leaders.
The paper reveals that, in cases where the scenarios have effectively influenced corporate decision making, it was because the scenario team stayed together to execute the foresights they reached in the scenario process.”
Scenarios encourage strategic thinking about long‐term futures and potential discontinuities in a world that obsesses about the short‐term.
The paper concludes that scenarios, to be most effective, demand a rigor that consumes time and resources. They require leaders to open conduits to information, promote group interactions, encourage disciplined imagination and demand persistent follow‐through.