A number of our readers have asked for an overview of the ten key patterns of change we profiled in our book Designing Your Future – Key Trends, Challenges and Choices Facing Association and Nonprofit Leaders. So this edition of FutureScape is given over to explaining the ten key patterns.
First a little background to the book. Designing your Future was published in August 2008 as the culmination of a six month research programme we undertook for the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership. The research involved a widespread scan of emerging trends and extensive consultation to prioritise the trends and assess their implications for society, business and the association and nonprofit worlds.
The aim was to cater for those who want to adopt a strategic approach to designing their future and to those who crave immediate action and want to focus on particular trends and emerging issues. In the book we identify 50 key trends and 100 emerging trends which could be of importance to business leaders. These are then synthesised into ten key patterns of change and the resulting critical challenges for leaders. A strategic decision making framework is then presented to help leaders address the patterns of change and map a ‘preferred future’ for their organisation. A range of tools, workshop processes and decision support frameworks are presented to help the reader respond in either a tactical or strategic manner.
Every time one undertakes an environmental scanning exercise, a range of candidate patterns emerge. For this exercise, we felt the ten we chose best reflected the most important patterns facing those in our primary audience – although we have since learnt that frameworks have proved equally popular in the commercial world.
Edelman’s 2009 study found trust down in most types of news outlet and spokesperson from 2008 – Corporate or product advertising is least trusted – down from 20% to 13% in 2009. In the US trust in information from a company’s top leader is at a six-year low at 17%. Outside experts at 59% remain the most trusted purveyors of information about a company. Only 29% and 27% view information as credible when coming from a CEO or government official, respectively, declining from 36% and 32% in 2008. Juxtaposed aginat declining trust is a seeming rise in expectations. Greater corporate social responsibility (CSR), more transparency, and higher standards in public life are being demanded. These are being driven by growing public awareness of the scale of social challenges, environmental pressures, changing consumer values and a rise in ‘ethical consumption’, and will rise in prominencethrough the communications accelerator effect provided by social media and more widespread adoption of reporting and accountability standards