Fast Track your Innovation &
Sustainability with Foresight

The Institute for Building Technology and Safety occupies a unique niche in the building services industry by partnering with governments to provide not only building services, but also disaster management and municipal services that strengthen communities and help them meet citizen needs.

After several decades in operation and several growth spurts, IBTS determined the need to refine its growth strategy in order to sustain the same pace of success in the future. The firm sought to better understand future trends to identify new market opportunities and sharpen near and long term priorities.

But they weren’t ready simply to dive into a whole new strategy, the executives needed to sharpen their ability to envision potential futures, so they began with two days learning how to envision the future using both evidence and imagination.

The benefits of outside facilitation

While IBTS could have pursued a course of planning a growth strategy alone, it chose instead to bring in Prescient and CEO Amy Zalman to facilitate. Matt Horn, Director of Local Government Solutions, explained why:

“In too many cases, as subject matter experts, we fancy ourselves as experts in facilitation.  We know our stuff, so of course we know how to talk about it, right? Too often, either myself or other team members have attempted a higher level engagement on our own.  It turns out to be either too thin (skin deep) or too functional (i.e. not strategic).  It takes someone who is not living it day to day to pull you out of the minutia and think more broadly about your opportunities and challenges.”

When Amy was brought it, it was clear she was a good fit for working with IBTS: “She quickly got acquainted with the subject matter, and gleaned what is important about our business. IBTS Is very diverse from a business line perspective and she absorbed it well. She’s also a great traffic cop.  In an organization full of Type A’s, there’s never a dearth of speechifying.  She is tactful and respectful in moving the conversation forward to get to our session objectives.”

Using Executive Workshops to Raise Foresight Awareness

 In order to raise greater awareness of relevant trends and their potential consequences, Prescient provided multiple sessions using a variety of engaging formats and tools. The ultimate str

The executive participants were also provided with a kit and guide so they could generate the same activities with their own teams, increasing the impact of their own learning.

According to Matt, “sessions were the perfect balance of large group conversations, small group activities, fun, and serious.  This was key to maintaining the attention of an easily diverted crowd.

I really enjoyed the tools brought to the table to support facilitation.  The scenario analysis (cards) and the 1st order through 3rd or 4th order impact diagramming were very effective.  I have since (tried to) replicate this with my own team.”

“The activities taught me how to think more broadly about issues and opportunities.  To get to root causality and long range impact.”

Bottom line: for companies that have committed to being more proactive about their growth strategy, developing team knowledge and skills first can pay off later.

Matt Horn, Director Local Government Solutions Institute for Building Technology and Safety

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