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Futures and Strategy

September 17, 2014

It is noticeable that much strategy is developed without any systematic attempt being made to get views of possible futures. We first discussed this in “Beyond Crisis” (John Wiley, 2010), where we likened this approach to balancing an organisation on a piece of wet string, and argued that in times of change it was an inadequate approach. Since then, it has become clear that strategy as taught in Universities still largely ignores systematic approaches to getting views of the future.

To start to tackle this issue, SAMI is leading a Special Interest Group (SIG) for the Strategic Planning Society to develop the capability of strategists to understand how to use futures views and tools in driving a strategic agenda, i.e,

rethinking thinking about strategy.

In doing this we are guided by the Strategy Cycle developed for the European Commission:

Strategy cycle

To implement this remit, the SIG will run events, undertake webinars and contribute to social media and formal publication routes. It has held the first two events, using futures tools to think strategically about Energy, and about Food. The third, on information, will be on November 11th at Olswang’s offices in Holborn. For an invitation, please contact

The SIG will also work with Business Schools and academics to

  • increase awareness of the need for incorporating futures thinking into strategic discussion
  • provide workshops to Business Schools for their students and staff as exemplars
  • work with the British Association of Management, CMI, and other organisations, to explore joint projects
  • explore the potential for a new edition of standard strategy texts to include a greater emphasis on futures thinking
  • seek to develop a MOOC which incorporates that greater emphasis on futures thinking into the classic 10 module MBA strategy course.

New members of the SIG are welcome. If you are interested in joining the SIG to develop this programme, please contact

Written by Gill Ringland.

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