When you’re planning for your future, it pays to know what might affect it from outside. You won’t be able to predict everything, but at least you will have some idea of the external pressures you might face.
Scan the environment to consider the impact of external factors.
One of the common tools futurists use for this purpose is PESTLE analysis, where you assess external factors in the environment that could affect your future growth and progress:
Here’s an example …
I run regular webcasts for my clients to help them with their strategic planning, and we did a PESTLE analysis in a recent webcast. My clients are from diverse industries, but they chose “hospitals” as the example for this exercise, and then they worked through the PESTLE factors.
Here are their results:
Not all ideas are equal!
The purpose of this exercise is to understand the external factors affecting your future. As you can see from this example, there’s a broad range of ideas – some short-term, others long-term, some highly likely, others more speculative. So, the next step is to classify them for strategic input, and then take the most important and create integration plans to incorporate them into your organisation.
But, as a first step, do the PESTLE analysis, so you understand the external pressures on your organisation as you move into the future.
- What are the PESTLE factors affecting your organisation and industry?
- How are you regularly assessing these factors – both in your strategic planning and normal operations?
- Who are you asking for their input into a PESTLE analysis? Are you engaging people who aren’t necessarily considered “experts”?