Driving Force Impacts for Environmental Scanning in Strategic Planning

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    Driving Force Impacts for Environmental Scanning in Strategic Planning

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting,
    Adapted from the Field Guide to Nonprofit Strategic Planning and

    Driving Forces Table reprinted with permission from Neil Gustafson, Instructor,
    University of St. Thomas’ “Macrocontemporary Scene” course in its
    Executive MBA program. (This document is referenced from Strategic

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    During strategic planning, consider the following grid when
    conducting a scan of the environment that is external to the organization.
    The grid can be used in scenario-based, strategic planning. Scenario
    planning is a useful technique that often provokes planners to
    really be strategic in their planning.

    From the perspectives of each of the two alternative sets of
    assumptions (A and B) below, for your selected driving force (listed
    in the left-hand column), describe the conditions that you think
    might prevail in the U.S. regarding your organization. Select
    a certain number of years in the future in which to describe your
    scenario, e.g., 3, 5, 10 or 20 years out. Then compile an overview
    scenario for the future of your organization, based on the scenarios
    A and B that result from considering each driving force.

    Various Driving Forces
    That Could Effect
    Future of Your Organization

    “A” Assumptions

    “B” Assumptions

    Business (types, vitality, location, capital availability, management,
    philosophy, etc.)
    Communications and access to information
    Economic conditions (e.g., GNP, productivity, inflation, etc.)
    Education (elementary, secondary, higher, life-long, etc.)
    Employment and labor force characteristics
    Energy (e.g., availability, types, uses, costs, etc.)
    Environmental conditions (air, water, soil)
    Equal opportunities (women, minorities)
    Food (production, distribution, consumption)
    Governance (structures and operations as a government)
    Health and human services
    Housing (types, location, conditions, costs, etc.)
    International relations (economic, social, political)
    Life-style conditions
    Natural resources (minerals, fuels, foreign products, etc.)
    Politics (voting, political parties, lobbying, methods of influence,
    Population (growth or decline, composition, distribution, etc.)
    Religion and ethics
    Security (personal, property, crime, law enforcement, etc.)
    Technology (communication, medical, military, robotics, artificial
    Transportation (auto, rail, air, etc.)

    For the Category of Strategic Planning:

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