Anticipating the opportunity, in the midst of transition

Ascent Growth Partners and Prescient are working together to develop and implement innovative strategy processes, helping organisations thrive in today’s uncertain environments.

The transition to a more sustainable and clean energy mix is accelerating. Driven by shifts in energy demand, technological advances and the growing impact of climate change, the way we power our world is fundamentally changing and requires organisations to respond in new and innovative ways.

But how does one develop a credible path to prosperity within such an accelerating transition?

For the past generation, corporate leaders have recognized that 20th-century models of strategic planning and execution cannot meet the needs of the uncertain, complex and fast-moving business environments of the present. Yet simply knowing the world is uncertain, or being aware of macro-trends, often touted as certainties, does not offer a practical route to making better present-day decisions. And when it comes to strategy, making better present-day decisions makes all the difference.

Some strategists have proposed eliminating strategic planning altogether, and shifting focus to practicing agility. While agility is important for executing strategy, agility without insight won’t get us very far. Indeed, in the face of rising complexity and ever-present uncertainty, the need for purposeful strategy is more acute than ever.

So, we are working together to innovate new ways of combining strategy and foresight, for management teams to generate greater clarity and exercise better decision-making, charting a more credible and prosperous path, in the midst of the transition.

We deliver strategy processes which:

(1) Assess not only current but potential future capabilities required by organisations, whether an energy-sector incumbent or a new-comer, during the transition – with growing awareness of not only what can be achieved now, but how current capabilities can change, grow, even re-purposed, to deliver new results;

(2) Leverage strategic activities (such as capability assessments, scenario learning and simulations) to infuse new insights into an organisation’s strategy and execution tactics; and

(3) Challenge ingrained mindsets, so that the managers can view opportunity spaces, from a new perspective and optimize behaviour, to realise them.

Ask yourself, what could your organisation achieve if you could navigate the transition with greater clarity and conviction? What opportunities could you and your team unearth, in continually generating new insights? And what progress could be made if uncertainties were not dressed as ‘predictable trends’ but rather be seen as a source of disruption and opportunity, for your business?

Saar Ben-Attar is a director of Ascent Growth Partners, a niche advisory and consulting firm, with offices in Singapore and South Africa. He will be speaking at Future Energy Asia on new strategies and business models, to more effectively navigate the energy transition.

Dr. Amy Zalman is the founder of Prescient LLC, a Washington-based strategic foresight advisory firm. Called ‘one of the top 7 futurists in the world’ by the Huffington Post, she is a Professor of foresight at Georgetown University and the former CEO and President of the World Future Society.