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Audit

Audit is an interview method or analysis to determine how an organization currently sees itself.

Uses of the method

  • To document the current organizational paradigm 
  • To discover gaps, misunderstandings or internal disagreements with the organization's current strategy
  • To develop a starter conversation on the current paradigm between the organization's leaders on where opportunities to improve performance can be made.

Benefits

  • Agreement on the organizations current operating condition
  • Identification of possible improvements and strengths to exploit
  • Challenges to status quo

Disadvantages

  • Requires the use of other methods to gain an external view of how the organization is currently positioned
  • Requires the use of other methods to gain an external view of where the organizations' industry or market is heading and possible new futures
  • Personal objectives may create significant resistance and argument inside the organization which detracts from finding consensus
  • Fast and quick to do
  • Low-cost

Steps to complete

  • Ask key executives to complete the template from their individual perspective with as much honesty as they can. The interview can be done face-to-face, by telephone or electronically here. Supplement this with  desk research using the organization's own published and unpublished material e.g. annual reports, employee opinion surveys, strategic plan.
  • Hold a workshop to discuss the outcomes of the interview and analysis process and examine where the executives converge and diverge on their views
  • Attempt to seek convergence after discussion but leave real disagreements on the table for later examination through use of external methods here, later analysis and discussion.
  • Determine the fixed elements (almost certain hard trends) that will inform your strategic response: slow-changing phenomena e.g. demographic shifts, constrained situations e.g. resource limits, in the pipeline e.g. aging of baby boomers, inevitable collisions e.g. climate change arguments.
  • Capture critical variables i.e. uncertainties, soft trends and potential surprises. Both these and the fixed elements will be key to creating scenarios and examining potential future paradigm shifts.
  • Capture unique insight into new ways of seeing that can be utilized by the organization.
  • What conclusions can we draw from the exercise(s)?
    • How might the future be different?
    • How does A affect B?
    • What is likely to remain the same or change significantly?
    • What are the likely outcomes?
    • What and who will likely shape our future?
    • Where could we be most affected by change?
    • What might we do about it?
    • What don't we know that we need to know?
    • What should we do now, today?
    • Why do we care?
    • When should we aim to meet on this?
  • Finish by noting your next steps. Next steps could include a further round of iteration, a recommendation on how to get the answers or use of other research and methods such as 'DNA' to create more vantage points on contended findings. 

Collaboration
This method and your response can be shared with other members or kept private using the 'Privacy' field and through the 'Tag', 'Report' and 'Forum' functionalities. Use 'Tag' and/or 'Report' to aggregate your analyzes, or add a 'Forum' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.

Click the 'Invite tab to send invitations to other members or non-members (colleagues, external experts etc.) to ask for their input. You can whether or not you want anonymous responses.  These can be viewed and exported within the Responses tab.

Contact us
Even with all the advice and tools we have provided here starting a foresight project from scratch can be a daunting prospect to a beginner. Let us know if you need help with this method or want a group facilitation exercise or full project or program carrying out by us. We promise to leave behind more internal knowledgeable people who can expand your initiative for better organizational performance.

Contact us today for a free discussion on your needs.

Are there other enhancements or new methods you would like to see here? Let us know and we will do our best to respond with a solution quickly.

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