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If everything stayed the same, strategy would be a no-brainer

Fast movement

The fact is we live in an unpredictable world. The belief that setting a strategy in isolation from the external world and potential future changes is flawed.

A successful strategy is robust, ready to evolve organisation-wide and adjust to external factors that will impact your business. 

Here are 3 valuable ways we recommend you strategically embrace an unpredictable future:

1. Outside-world thinking

2. Create a hypothesis

3. Act and Adapt

1. Outside-world thinking

The world around us is dynamic and ever-changing. Acknowledging this empowers us to make informed decisions based on real-world conditions.

For example: Generative AI; this is a hot topic that we are helping clients embrace and keep ahead of the curve. In terms of strategic planning and awareness of external factors, OpenAI released GPT-3 in June 2020. In those few years there are now more AI assisted tools integrated into various product offerings than can be listed.

This space is revolutionary and changing everyday; understanding how this impacts your sector and external landscape will help guide future decision-making. A report by Gartner found that the global AI market is expected to reach $2 trillion by 2025. 

2. Create a hypothesis

Success hinges on developing and refining your best hypothesis about the future landscape. It involves leveraging foresight and the resulting insights to navigate potential challenges and opportunities effectively.

How this works: The first step in our strategy development process is teaching clients how to foresight and build this into an on-going capability to help actively anticipate the future. This is an exploratory process where the team gathers information to gain insights which better informs decision making. 

With this pre-work and knowledge, the next step is to state a hypothesis on what will allow your organisation to be future-ready.  

The description (hypothesis) of your organisation in 3 to 5 years time typically covers seven main areas, we refer to them as the 7P’s. 

  1. Profile - the positioning and profile of your organisation

  2. Product - the product or service you will be offering 

  3. Place - where you operate and to whom

  4. People - the skills, workforce and culture to enable the organisation

  5. Partners - who you need alliances with to create more value for your customers or beneficiaries

  6. Process - the processes and system backbone to scale the organisation

  7. Performance (or Profit) - the result desired from the collective effort

3. Act and Adapt

Agility is paramount. Acting swiftly on your strategy and adapting as needed ensures relevance and resilience in the face of uncertainty. 

This means finding the: 

  • Fastest

  • Lowest risk

  • Cheapest

way to test your hypothesis. 

For example: To test a new product or service idea, you can offer a minimum viable product to your existing customers to see if they resonate with it. If the feedback is positive, continue; if it is negative or only lukewarm, reconsider your hypothesis and re-calibrate your approach.

Meaningful strategy

At the end of the day, a strategy sets a clear direction for your organisation’s growth that everyone understands and delivers towards. Effectively anticipating factors outside of your organisation’s control and being prepared to act will add to your ability to achieve this outcome.   

To radically embrace an unpredictable future remember to;

  1. Think beyond the lens of just your organisation to understand the world around you 

  2. Make a hypothesis on how to best tackle potential future challenges in order to create opportunities

  3. Act swiftly, ready to make adjustments to remain relevant in a fast changing business environment. 

Waterfield guides enterprises across these three areas to strategically thrive in an unpredictable future to become leaders in their industry.

Reach out If you would like more information on what was covered in this article or our approach to future ready strategy. 

Free Resource: To help you start thinking about creating a hypothesis for the future of your business download our 7P’s Outcome worksheet we use to ask questions around the 7 main areas.  Visit our resources page at

Kevin Nuttall,

Director of Waterfield.

Clear strategic direction & action

Strategic growth services:


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