In working with a range of clients and groups, we have realised that an approach is called for that aims to reduce all encompassing uncertainty - which is freezing decision making. The message is – some megatrends are happening and you need to know how you can respond to them – then you can face the current chaotic times and potential different futures more confidently. From our work with various groups, we have identified a timeline for a dozen major trends, e.g. population growth, economics, IT, biotech. We explored the timelines of the trends through increasing levels of uncertainty over time, and analysed the forces that could accelerate or slow down their effects.
This will form the basis for a new book by Gill Ringland and Tricia Lustig to be published later in 2018.
More Than Just a Crystal Ball
Gill Ringland, in Finance and Management March 2017 explains how forecasting is incredibly important for finance directors and, when done correctly, is much more beneficial than just approximate prediction. (Not yet available on-line but Gill has some paper copies)
Britain after Brexit
In a paper published in Quality World in February 2016, Natasha Cowan asks SAMI chief Executive Gill Ringland how you can help guide your organisation through the split with the European Union and why quality professionals are well positioned to help industry take the plunge. (Not yet available on-line but Gill has some paper copies)
This paper describing the issues facing government as a result of artificial intelligence and other technological changes was prepared by David Lye, fellow and director of SAMI Consulting, and was published by BRINK. (BRINK is a digital platform which delivers insights on risk and reslience to leaders worldwide.)
This report, in which SAMI (John Reynolds) participated, describes how scenario planning was used to identify the dynamics underpinning the resilience of several agricultural sectors to animal disease.
It is available as a corrected proof on the Elsevier / Science Direct website.
Evidence submission from SAMI Consulting by David Lye, SAMI Consulting,October 2014.
The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) called for written evidence on the issue of Whitehall’s capacity to anticipate, to analyse, to assess, and to respond to the most significant challenges, risks and opportunities facing the UK in the next decade or so.
This short submission identifies some of the key challenges and risks facing the Government.
By Wendy Schultz, SAMI; Christian Crews, AndSpace Consulting USA; and Richard Lunn, Vision Foresight Strategy LLC USA, published in Journal of Futures Studies, September 2012, 17(1): 129-140.
The authors look at a process which builds scenarios up inductively: via layers of timeline mapping using the Three Horizons framework; via implications mapping using Futures Wheels augmented with the Verge Ethnographic Futures Framework; and via influence mapping using systems thinking.
By Richard Walsh, SAMI Director and Fellow, published in Cover magazine September 2012.
The review of Simple Financial Products is a significant strategic development in the protection sector.
Richard highlights some key issues and a few problems in the making.
by Gill Ringland, published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change, special issue on Strategic Insight, Volume 77, Number 9, November 2010 (see index)
"A system for continuous organizational renewal"
by Oliver Sparrow and Gill Ringland, Published in STRATEGY & LEADERSHIP journal VOL. 38 NO. 4 2010, pp. 34-41.
Discusses the advantages of and the mechanisms of the purposeful self-renewing organization (PS-RO).
To arrange for a transcript please contact Lynda McGill
Patricia Lustig and Gill Ringland July 2010. The next decade will present many uncertainties and organisational challenges on an unprecedented scale. As the financial crisis winds its way through the system, a new world order is being revealed. There will be no return to business as usual. This article explores the changes in the external world, outlines how organisations can cope with the uncertainty these changes bring, and in particular the role that Appreciative Inquiry can play. It is based on the frameworks discussed in more detail in “Beyond Crisis” by Gill Ringland, Oliver Sparrow and Patricia Lustig.
"Frameworks for coping with Post-normal Times: a response to Ziauddin Sardar"
By Gill Ringland in "Futures" Volume 42, Issue 6, published in August 2010. A copy of the article is available through Lynda McGill.
In March 2010, "Ready for renewal", an article by Colin Fletcher and Gill Ringland in “The Treasurer”, the journal of the Association of Corporate Treasurers envisages a very different economic order coming into operation over the next twenty years and explains how businesses can adapt successfully.
In AgendaNi (March 2010) an interview with Gill Ringland: "Scenario planner Gill Ringland talks about the key risks facing organisations in today’s world and why ideas need to be tested, not just dreamed up."
SAMI Consulting got together with NetStrategics, specialists in communications industry regulation and strategy, and DSI, focused on helping organisations make strategic decisions, to map out some scenarios based on the key trends and developments that are driving the telecommunications industry forward.
By Gill Ringland and Michael Owen
The scenario creation process can provide a team with shared insights and a shared language. This has led to the use of scenarios as a management development tool, and a team-building tool. The methodology is the same. Here two examples are considered of using scenarios for the development of young professional managers who have been identified as ‘high flyers
"Using scenarios to improve Marketing"
By Andrew Curry, Gill Ringland and Laurie Young in Strategy and Leadership . Reprints are available from Gill Ringland at Sami
By Gill Ringland of SAMI Consulting
In its report on world strategic energy options for last July’s G8 summit in St. Petersburg the International Energy Agency (IEA) used scenarios to describe
how energy technologies could develop between now and 2050, in support of the G8 Plan of Action. This article onsiders whether the IEA’s scenarios fulfilled the role of exploring qualitatively different futures, or whether they were trapped in the
assumptions of the present.
"Positive Approaches to Change -Applications of Solutions Focus and Appreciative Inquiry at Work"
Edited by Mark McKergow and Jenny Clarke, SolutionsBooks (March 2005)
Patricia Lustig of SAMI Consulting contributed to chapters entitled:
"Organisational Constellations meets Appreciative Inquiry" - A creative experiment in integrating two organisational transformation (OT) disciplines
and "Dreams do come true" - Community building with Appreciative Inquiry in a small Nepalese village
Download flyer for Positive Approaches to Change, here
By SAMI Principal Dr Wendy Schultz in Foresight Vol 8 No 4.
This paper won the award for best paper in "Foresight" in 2006.
The main point of the paper is to point out that there is a cultural
contradiction between horizon scanning and traditional research. Traditional research looks for consensus, is mostly
mono-disciplinary and theoretically grounded. Horizon scanning for emerging issues is based often on one or two cases,
and experts will often violently attack reports of emerging issues of change, as they represent challenges to current
paradigms and structures of expertise, power, and entitlement; are often noticed initially by fringe sources and
challenge previous theoretical structures, forcing the construction of new theories. This cultural contradiction
is one of the reasons that organisations - whether public or private sector - find it hard to react effectively
to the results of horizon scanning.
By Martin Duckworth, Utility Week, February 2006.
Among scientists, there is more or less a consensus that climate change is real and happening now. They agree that the models are getting better and more credible
and that the IPCC climate projections over the next century are reasonable, although a big margin of uncertainty still remains.
In conjunction with the Futures Forum, we looked at four scenarios where the likely outcome was determined by public attitudes and by whether continuing research found the climate change threat to be limited or serious.
A paper by Gill Ringland and Azfar Shaukat, 2004. What will the world of
management consultancy look like in 2020? After decades of astonishing growth in which the
management consultancy industry has trebled in size to $120 billion per year over eight years,
the future looks decidedly uncertain.A variety of complex forces have converged,squeezing the
industry in many dimensions simultaneously, with far-reaching implications to its structure and future.
Scenario planning: answering the "so what" question for operating managers
This paper by Gill Ringland was published in "Strategy & Leadership" in November 2003.
Scenario thinkers and operational managers do not find it easy to communicate with each other.
This paper discusses ways in which scenarios can be used in the line units of the organisation and the
role of strategists and corporate planners in making this bridge. It uses case studies to illustrate
five applications: to generating options, portfolio management, business plans, market planning and
Scenarios For The Future Of Europe’s Regions
This paper by Alexander Fink, of the Scenario Management International, Germany and
Michael Owen, of St Andrews Management Institute, UK, was presented at the World Future Society Conference
in July 2003. In November 2002, a scenario planning project was undertaken to explore
"The Future of Europe’s Regions" - an issue which will assume increasing importance as the process of
EU enlargement moves ahead in the coming years.
Participants came from 13 European countries. The scenario
horizon extended to twenty years ahead; and a fairly pragmatic definition of what constitutes a
European "region" was adopted, to embrace both administrative and cultural dimensions. More than seventy
separate factors were initially identified: these spanned influences deriving from within the European
regions; influences emanating from the European environment that surrounds the European regions; and
factors that contain implications for the development of the general, more global sphere that surrounds
the European regions.
These factors produced five coherent, credible scenarios of how Europe’s regions
could develop over the next twenty years. The scenarios highlighted the key driving forces that will
determine the outcomes for Europe’s regions over the time-scale. The contradictions and paradoxes exposed
pose many profound challenges for European citizens and policy makers, and challenge the historic US-Europe
Application of scenario planning to corporate social responsibility
This paper by Gill Ringland and Adrian Davies was published in the Corporate Social Responsibility Monitor
in March 2003. It examines the role of scenario planning in corporate social responsibility, giving examples
from real life. It shows that scenario planning provides a process for structuring the development of CSR
policies and controlling their implementation.
Using scenarios to focus R&D
This paper by Gill Ringland was published in "Strategy & Leadership" in January 2003.
It focuses on the role of scenarios in planning Research and Development (R&D). R&D programmes often focus
on the technology, which is relatively forecastable. But the output of R&D programmes will enter a world
in which lifestyles and society are changing. By using scenarios to explore alternative views of the future,
R&D programmes can be designed to anticipate change, to watch for signs of the changes, and to be more robust.
The paper describes in some detail an example of using scenarios for an Information and Communication Technology
R&D programme. The implications for corporate planners are drawn out.
"Scenarios in Business”
By Gill Ringland
John Wiley, April 2002, ISBN 0-470-84382-9
Direct-to Consumer Communications of Rx Medicines
Mike Owen is the joint author with Gary Lyon (Nicholas Hall & Company, 2002)
"Scenarios in Public Policy”
By Gill Ringland
John Wiley, April 2002, ISBN 0-470-84383-7
A sponsored scenario planning study of Scotland's future, published in 1999, prepared by SAMI Consulting, St Andrews University and Strathclyde University.
The Strategic Role of Marketing
by Adrian Davies (McGraw-Hill 1995).
by Adrian Davies (Woodhead Faulkner 1991)
Other papers by Gill Ringland are:
"Scenario Planning”, for Bloomsbury Business Encarta, April 2001.
"Scenarios in ICL”, a chapter for “Prospectives Etudes”, March 2001
"Innovation in communicating ideas about the future”, International Journal of Innovation, March 2000
"Why Forecasts go Wrong”, Long Range Planning, October 1999
"London in 2020”, Planning in London, March 1999
"London in 2020”, Gresham College, Barnards Inn, Holborn, London, February 1999
"Why we get forecasts wrong”, Entretiens Science & Defence, November 1998
"Changes in Telecoms Traffic”, with Nuno Caldeira, Handbook on Telecoms in the 21st Century for Telecoms Managers, TUA, February 1998
"Why are planners talking Scenarios?”, Accountancy, January 1998
"Scenario Planning – Managing for the future”, John Wiley, ISBN 0-471-97790-X, November 1997