Strategic Thinking Articles

  • Simplified Planning for Complex Times
    Bruce Butterfield, President, The Forbes Group
    Strategic planning is essential for any organization, but it doesn't have to be boring and unproductive. Preferred Future Development is a way to simplify the process, precisely define outcomes and clarify board and staff roles. Best of all, it's fast and... more
  • The Generational Joust
    Bruce Butterfield, President, The Forbes Group
    For the first time since we were an agricultural society, there are four generations in the workplace and association membership. The biggest is the Millennials, born between 1982 and 2002. How will they affect associations in the future? Will they even c... more
  • What Comes After What We Know?
    Bruce Butterfield, President, The Forbes Group
    The future of associations doesn't look like the present. New models must emerge that work for 21st Century customers.... more
  • Balanced Scorecard for Associations
    James Dalton, Senior Counselor, The Forbes Group
    The Balanced Scorecard system of planning measurement has been used in companies for years, but it's new to associations. What is it? How does it work? Does it need to be modified for associations? This article explains the system and how some association... more
  • Transformation -- How an Association Learned to Embrace Change
    Bruce Butterfield Paul Pomerantz, The Forbes Group Society of Interventional Radiology
    Associations are wary of change until it's thrust upon them. The Society of Interventional Radiology experienced challenges from other medical specialties that threatened its future and that of its profession. Using Forbes Group Customers' Customer and be... more
  • Planning Achievement - Where the Rubber meets the Road
    Amy L. Brown, Senior Counselor, The Forbes Group
    Planning achievement is where the organization creates a detailed plan of resources, allies, and milestones to realize the vision and to monitor whether the organization is having an impact. This is where the environmental scanning, trends identificaton a... more
  • Your Association Should See Visions
    Amy L. Brown, Senior Counselor, The Forbes Group
    Development of a vision is a crucial part of a truly future-focused planning effort. A vision describes the future an organization wishes to create - in essence, it is the statement of the organization's preferred future.... more
  • What If the South Had Won the War? – Imagining Differences
    Amy L. Brown, Senior Counselor, The Forbes Group
    Thinking about the future and all its possibilities is crucial for numerous reasons: · Decisions have long-term consequences · Future alternatives involve present choices · The future is the only time we can affect · Imagining the future prepares us for u... more
  • Preparing for an Open-Range Future
    Bruce Butterfield, President and CEO , The Forbes Group
    In a world where boundaries are blurring and community is king, facilitating selforganizing groups is a key to competitive advantage. ... more
  • In Search of Strategy
    Jim Dalton, CAE Senior Counselor, The Forbes Group
    In today's fast-paced business climate, a good strategy changes quickly. It adapts easily, learning as it goes. And it's impatient, unwilling to wait around for a strategic plan. ... more
  • Reshaping your Association for the 21st Century
    Bruce Butterfield, President and CEO and Paul S. Forbes , The Forbes Group
    The world of association management will change dramatically in the 21st century, and associations must prepare now to address it.... more
    Bruce Butterfield, President, The Forbes Group
    This is a chapter from the American Society of Association Executives book Professional Practices in Association Management. It is no news that the world of associations is on the cusp of fundamental change. The unanswered question is what to do about it. This change is being driven by globalization; the creation of modular relationships that supersede industry and .professional boundaries; the technology of connection that permits wide and instantaneous sharing of information and knowledge; and the entrance of the Millennial generation, the most collaborative generation in human history, into the workforce.... more
  • How to Be a Futurist
    Amy L. Brown, Senior Counselor, The Forbes Group
    Being a futurist doesn't mean being a forecaster. It means being creative and envisioning your preferred future.... more
  • Changing to a Truly Strategic Model for Planning
    Bruce Butterfield, , President and CEO The Forbes Group
    A new model of strategic management makes planning the connective tissue between good thinking and work instead of being an end in itself. Here's are examples of how several organizations simplified and clarified their plans to make them effective and even reinvent themselves. ... more
  • Lines and Silos and Squares, Oh My!
    Bruce Butterfield, , President and CEO, The Forbes Group
    Associations need to move to a different organizational model to breakdown functional silos. A “cellular” approach will clarify relationships and signal that the organization “walks the talk” of internal collaboration.... more
  • Getting to the Meat - Considering Implications
    Amy L. Brown, Senior Counselor, The Forbes Group
    Scanning the macro environment to pick up on emerging issues is a lot like gathering data for a term paper. Eventually, you need to pull together the research and analyze where there is possible overlap in the STEEP categories that may signal the beginnings of a trend.... more