Case Studies

Case study 1: Executive decision making drastically improves

Situation

We were contacted by the CEO of a mid-size general contracting company to frame the future of his organization in the context of multiple future narratives. Uncertainty at the executive level led to insecurity among management and staff. The executive and his leadership team felt a distinct lack of empowerment about making sound decisions that were in the best interest of the company, clients, and employees.

Intervention

We began by using a scanning tool in order to identify emerging trends and issues. We then utilized a cross impact matrix in order to determine the most plausible outcomes of colliding trends and issues. From there we were able to build plausible narratives about how the business landscape might change as a result. We then revised current strategic initiatives within the framework of strength and vulnerability.

Resolution

With renewed confidence and clarity, the executive team’s ability to make decisions drastically improved. Employees had a greater sense of ownership over the day-to-day tasks and operations of the company. There was a greater sense of cohesion among all members of the organization, regarding the direction and long-term success of the company.


Case Study 2: Collective visioning: a success story

Situation

We were contacted by the CEO of a nonprofit organization to administer a pre-needs assessment tool. The CEO was new to her position and needed to get her finger on the pulse of the organization, including all the stakeholders, clients, client member families, and employees, as well as her strategic leadership team and executive board.

Intervention

Rather than utilizing traditional survey tools, we decided to implement a process that allowed members of the organization to stand 10 years in the future, and look back at the successes, hopes, dreams, and aspirations fulfilled by the organization and its stakeholders.

Resolution

Participants were able to realize the true dreams and hopes and aspirations that they as individuals embodied. By focusing on future successes rather than present-day challenges, participants were able to think differently and more constructively about creating and developing their preferred future. This led to a significant increase in the individual participant’s sense of empowerment about the direction and future success of the organization.


Case Study 3: CEO successfully identifies new markets to drive extraordinary growth

Situation

The president of a coaching company needed help determining how the long-term implications of emerging technology and innovation would impact the success of his latest venture. As a self-styled “late adopter” to technology, this executive wanted to ensure he was staying ahead of his competition and was able to identify potential disruptors and opportunities on the horizon in order to make better decisions about the long-term viability of his business.

Intervention

We began by using a simple tool that allowed us to uncover the peripheral effects of emerging technology trends. From there we identified specific threats and opportunities to his current business model. This led to the discovery of new potential market space that is currently not in existence. Having identified existing threats, we also looked at ways to transform his business model into a machine for opportunity, with new forms of innovation and market creation.

Resolution

We successfully identified three unexplored markets wherein his business could evolve over the next 10 years. We also determined ways that he could position himself today as a thought leader and innovator in his field.


Case Study 4: Dramatic improvement in organizational efficiency by creating a culture of foresight

Situation

As a nonprofit research center approached its 10th anniversary, the executive director met with us to discuss the center’s overwhelming need for a long-term strategic revision. This involved the need for more effective and efficient communications as well as a redesigned physical office space that would be reflective of the new long-term vision, mission, and goals of the organization.

Intervention

We took a backward approach to instituting an effective management system within their organization. We first began by discussing the long-term strategic vision and mission for the organization. The members in the organization then described how an effective communication and management system for their operation would “tell the story” of their forward thinking long-term initiatives. We used this same process when rethinking the physical design of the office and the aesthetic of its layout.

Resolution

Staff members consistently completed assigned tasks, and enthusiastically communicated with and engaged potential donors and center advocates. Executive directors were able to spend more time and energy on long-term initiatives that would ensure the next 10 years to be even more successful than the previous ten.