CHART THE FUTURE OF YOUR INDUSTRY AND YOUR COMPANY’S MOST PROFITABLE PLACE IN It
Have you ever tried to plot your organization’s future, only to see your work produce either a simple extrapolation from the present or a vague, impractical set of scenarios? If so, you are not alone. As important as it is, envisioning the future is far easier said than done. Companies are too busy putting out fires to focus on the long term. Executives lose strategic focus by thinking in terms of projects, not the overall portfolio. Efforts are often internally oriented, rather than rooted in deep market understanding and trend analysis. And implicit assumptions become commonplace and critical. To solve these challenges, we at New Markets have developed our FutureCasting approach – a unique process to plot the future in a rigorous and actionable way. By following the four steps below, we can help you determine the coming look of your industry and your company’s most profitable place in it:
How we can help
phase 1: Separate the facts from the assumptions with the Uncertainty Matrix
We start by assessing your knowledge bank, internal beliefs, and the strategic options that you are currently considering. To structure and push our thinking, we use the Uncertainty Matrix (see graphic below) which allows us to break down an uncertain environment into facts, assumptions, and knowledge gaps we need to address. From there, we analyze relevant trends around the gaps and hypotheses we need to test.
phase 2: Determine the Coming Customer Behaviors
Analyzing external trends is not enough – you must also understand how your customers’ needs evolve so that you can evolve with them. But the trick lies in understanding which behaviors are disappearing, which are here to stay, and which are still to come.
Fortunately, changes in customer behavior happen for a reason. Using our Jobs to be Done framework (see graphic below) combined with journey mapping, we can understand the “why” behind old and new customer behaviors and quantify these trends over time.
phase 3: Devise and prioritize Alternative Future
At this point, we have amassed a trove of market and customer trends. To understand how they interact with each other, we plot this data into a systems thinking framework and model the possible outcomes. From there, we identify the most uncertain trends with the greatest impact and plot out Alternative Futures to focus on (see example below from retail banking).
Next, we analyze these alternatives and spot the key threats and opportunities. Working our way backwards, we determine what steps you can take to address them. To further this exercise, we use a combination of techniques ranging from wargaming to red-teaming to find out what happens in each potential future and determine action implications.
phase 4: Building your future investment portfolio
As we work with you on the action implications of our future analysis, we help you decide how many bets to make, of what type, at what level, and with which timeframe. We also identify key signals related to each Alternative Future and set up pivot points to monitor shifts in the market. As these trends evolve, so does the probability that any wager will be a winner.
The goal is not only to envision the future, but to also shape it. As we help you experiment around opportunities, we also determine the steps you could take to precipitate that evolution.
By the end of our work, our clients have a robust and flexible investment portfolio, offering them a new set of strategic options to power their future success.