Exploring The Future To Identify Key Areas Of Impact
BUILDING ORGANIZATIONAL FOCUS AND ALIGNMENT
The Delta Faucet Company (DFC), a global manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom accessories, wanted to identify new areas of opportunity with only one guard rail, the opportunities had to focus around — WATER. They wanted to know how interactions with water are changing around the globe and where that intersects with the value DFC is positioned to deliver.
Early into the project, it became clear that DFC lacked a clear point of view regarding the future. While there were some advanced initiatives, as a organization they weren’t future oriented and lacked a company-wide shared perspective of the future. Because of this, there were no clearly defined areas of impact for the future of the business.
Before we could identify new opportunities around water (or any other area of opportunity for that matter), we had to build organizational focus and alignment around a DFC-centric View of the Future.
\ Our Approach
In order to provide that missing perspective, Delta decided to utilize our approach to Future Proofing. They wanted to avoid the pitfalls of their traditional approach to trends, where they focused on market trends leaving the organization with a near term focus.
Our Future Proofing method, which takes a systems view of the organization, allowed us to build out scenarios for areas of interest that DFC was familiar with like Water and Workforce. But more than that it allowed us to challenge them in areas they weren’t considering, but could become critical to the success of their business in the future, like the Future of Cleaning and Personal Health & Wellness.
From there we were able to bring together a cross-functional team of more than 60 people, from across all of the DFC brands in a highly engaging Future Proofing Workshop. Over 2-days, we explored the future, identified new opportunities (in areas beyond innovation, including commercialization and business models), and created fairy and scary tales for each system element, resulting in identification of, and agreement on the top trends most relevant to their future and an actionable opportunity landscape.
The participants were so excited by the process and the outcomes, that their leadership became involved, realizing that they needed to have a top-down view and that a company-wide perspective would be critical to their strategy activities moving forward. We ran a truncated session with the top 10 officers of the company, taking them through the same scenarios and exercises. This led to an organizationally defined View of the Future as it pertains to the Delta Faucet Company.
This process helped to expand DFC’s view of what would be important in the future, thereby broadening their view of today. It provided a guiding framework for their strategy both close in and farther out, has helped speed up decision making (as everyone is aligned around the same view) and has allowed them to organize and prioritize their opportunities in a new way. The scenarios were so impactful to the organization that they were shared with the parent company as part of the strategy!