Case Study – Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide is a mutually owned Savings & Loan (Building Society) headquartered in the UK. It business has always been in the UK and in 2004 we were asked to help the company think about new business areas that could be underpinned by new technology.
We led a three day workshop with the Futures team and the Head of Management Consultancy in Nationwide, bringing in outside “remarkable people” who specialise in Financial Services such as Chris Skinner and Ian Pearson. The use of scenarios was seen as a means of exploring the complexity and uncertainty of the future of the Financial Services business.
The important part of the workshop from the Nationwide point of view was the consideration of “so what” i.e. the possible options provoked by the scenarios. There were two main dimensions explored by the scenarios – new businesses possible because of technology advances, and ways of moving outside the UK boundaries – either physically or virtually.
As a result, Nationwide took three business ideas into their corporate evaluation process for new investment.
The use of scenarios enabled Nationwide to see beyond the short term issues of the UK market – regulation and bad debt – and to take a strategic view of new markets.