Please Steal These Trade Secrets in Environmental Scanning

Environmental scanning helps people and organizations examine trends and issues, anticipate what could happen, understand the implications and decide how to act. 

Associations and nonprofits scan their environment to anticipate and lead change in their world. They scan to support strategic planning, strategy development and project and program planning; identify public advocacy issues and priorities; educate members on critical trends and issues; and enhance the association’s strategic thinking. Scans give leaders a context for interpreting their environment and making better decisions. And if a scan exposes a chasm between where an organization is today and where it aspires to be, it can inspire a new vision and inform that transformation. 

Signature i hopes for a day when all association leaders have the commitment and competency to help their members anticipate and prepare for the future.  This would be a great outcome and wonderful way to end this part of our business.  To hasten that day, we are eager to teach our secrets in the art of scanning and other change leadership methods we use.  A few years ago when a client asked how do you come into a new area and produce a meaningful futures report, we couldn’t explain well what we do.  Like so many people who practice something that is more art than mechanics, we had to pay closer attention to how we work before we could share our trade secrets acquired through more than ten years researching the future for different organizations. 

In this environmental scanning methods resource, we explain what we’ve learned and how you too can use environmental scanning to act like the future matters. Please steal these secrets in environmental scanning! 

We also invite you to steal the trade secrets in the other methods resources available on our website:

We believe an important part of our consulting business is teaching you how to do what we do. We are successful when you can take over when our assignment ends. We always love to come back for the right reasons:  when you are pressed and need extra capacity, you are ready to take the next step or go in a new direction where we can help.  It is a delight to find the good work we did together is alive and thriving.

So please do ask us how we do it. We would like nothing better than to teach you—especially if your question requires us to reflect on what makes a trade secret a repeatable and teachable practice.