Case Study – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was founded in 1991 to create a new post-Cold War era in central and eastern Europe, furthering progress towards ‘market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative’.
The objective of the Scenario Planning Exercise was to encourage senior management to re-examine the Bank’s strategies and to consider possible steps to take to position itself in the described scenarios. The Bank held a comprehensive, thought-provoking scenario building exercise in which individuals build on their knowledge of scenario planning to create a polished set of scenarios which can be distributed within the organization as the Project Team sees fit. The scenarios were designed with the EBRD as the “actor”, with the purpose of examining the key factors affecting the future (2025-2030) operating environment of the Bank.
The users of these scenarios are the President of the EBRD, as well as the Executive Committee (ExCom). The fundamental expectation was that they will be used as a basis for strategic conversation within and outside the organisation, and to equip the Bank for the future. As the Secretary to the Committee said, “The project was a success: ExCom found the results informative and useful too. We are now working on how to bring the thinking further into the organisation”.
After an awareness raising Phase I, SAMI was invited to support Phase II which ran from December 2015 to July 2016. The role of the SAMI staff – Martin Duckworth and Gill Ringland – was to work closely with the EBRD project team, which included members of the Corporate Strategy Team, as well as other EBRD individuals selected by the Corporate Strategy Team, providing methodological support throughout and design and facilitation of workshops.
The project was divided into three stages:
- Research and interviews led to a research scoping workshop to identify key drivers of change
- Scenario creation, initially though a workshop and fully developed by the EBRD project team
- Strategy workshop, in which the scenarios were used to explore the implications for EBRD.
The strategy implications for EBRD were presented by the project team to the Executive Committee in July 2016, and the project team was commended by the Committee for the project and the outcomes.
Hans Peter Lankes, Executive Committee Member responsible for Strategy, said “The research is going to be helpful for different purposes, we will start implementing this process and way of strategic thinking across the bank.”