Using the results of your analysis

The third phase of a contingency plan consists of using the conclusions drawn from your analysis and implementing them.

Phase 3: 
Making future-related skills a success factor

The results of a contingency plan are used in the last phase of the process. The strategic future of the company is decided and innovations are launched at this stage. The results of the contingency plan must be distributed and supported within the company.

Research/reports

The quickest way to communicate the results of a contingency plan within a company is to distribute them in the form of a report or research.

Here are some practical tips:

  • Be careful: a report which is too long tends to disappear into the bottom of a drawer unread. Favor short regular reports which can be read despite the daily workload—e.g. a newsletter about the future or an article that appears regularly in the company newsletter.
  • Striking graphics and images break up research documents and make the content easier to understand.

Futures Windows

Another way of extending forward-looking knowledge to company employees is to use Futures Windows. Unlike written reports, this method relies on a comprehensive visualization of the results of the contingency plan. A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. With this idea in mind, Futures Windows can be posted on bulletin boards or printed on leaflets in a company’s canteens, corridors, entrance or toilets—in short, wherever employees are passing through—to attract their attention to subjects relating to the future, thus promoting a company culture open to the future.

Here are some practical tips:

  • The content of Futures Windows should be produced by a qualified copywriter. If staff resources are lacking, employees can also be asked to contribute by providing interesting photos or images to stimulate thought processes.
  • Comic strips, photos, short films or other artistic works are possibilities, provided that they question traditional reasoning and relate to the future.
  • Feedback wanted! Give your employees a chance to react spontaneously to the contents displayed. For example, this might be a suggestion box next to a Futures Window.

Future workshops/days

Days and workshops dedicated to the future attract the attention of employees but also of customers, suppliers and investors, in connection with the future of the company. In both cases, the primary objective is to present future scenarios or products/services and to discuss them. The second objective is to raise awareness among employees, customers and suppliers regarding the company’s future.

Here are some practical tips:

  • Invite investors to take part as well—it is important for this target group to learn how the company is planning its future.
  • Give your future day an optimistic tone and plan activities. Employee enthusiasm is crucial because employees often view the future or change skeptically.

Formal integration into research and development and strategic management

Any corporate contingency activity should seek to produce results which systematically influence the development of the company. These results should be directly and clearly integrated into the usual decision-making processes and research and development activities. The preliminary conditions for this are the corroboration, support and involvement of management.

Here are some practical tips:

  • Contingency is a job for management! Appoint someone from management who will commit continually to company contingency plans and who will communicate their motivation.
  • False expectations are often placed on company contingency plans. Be clear and point out that the future always has uncertainties and risks, but it also offers opportunities and possibilities for the products and sectors of tomorrow.
  • It is often difficult to integrate qualitative assertions about the future into the strategic process, which is more quantitative. However, do not underestimate the value of such assertions. In addition, challenge the accuracy of numerous quantitative assumptions.
  • Make sure that the results of the contingency plan ensure an excellent capacity for adaptation. The results should always relate to the current business and strategic direction.

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Last modification 23.07.2018

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