The discipline of future scanning enables informed anticipation of what the future may deliver – one of the most powerful competitive advantages you can have.

Future scanning

Future scanning (also known as environmental scanning) allows organisations to respond more quickly to change due to a deeper understanding of the forces driving industry shift. It is a critical component of effective strategic planning as it helps to paint a vision for the future, flagging potential opportunities and threats. Our future scanning toolbox includes the following products and services:

Future scanning product

The practise of future scanning involves systematically and skilfully scanning the external operating environment to identify the factors that are most likely to significantly influence your organisation. These are the factors that former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, famously termed the “known unknowns”.

“I think it is the best ever environmental scan you have put together for us and it is extremely valuable to us in thinking through our strategy revision.”Terry O’Brien, Managing Director, Simplot Australia

Regular scanning service

In more volatile sectors such as FMCG, future scanning should be a quarterly exercise that informs product development and ‘stress tests’ the current strategy. McKINNA et al has refined a customised future scanning service for some of our clients involving daily media monitoring and quarterly scenario planning.

Scenario planning

When faced with a ‘game changing’ or long-range strategic decision, a systematic scenario planning exercise can clarify the options and accelerate the decision process for a board or senior executive team. The objectivity that an informed fresh set of eyes brings to this exercise can mitigate the pernicious threat of ‘group think’.

Scenario planning is an extension of future scanning. It involves taking the knowledge gained from the future scan to build likely scenarios. Because future scanning is a core discipline at McKINNA et al, our team is able to design highly effective scenario planning frameworks.

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