Developing Strategy for a volatile world

Some say it is pointless creating a strategy when life, and business, is so unpredictable. We disagree.

We think different ways of developing strategy are long overdue though, and we want to share them with you.

Strategy formulation for a fast and chaotic environment

Over the last year we have been doing our homework. We found that the way many organisations developed strategy was by looking back at what happened, and then extrapolating that into the future. It was a method we had also used, and it worked. But it is time to change the way we think about and complete this critical organisational process.

In an unpredictable, volatile and fast-changing environment being extremely alert to what the future could hold is key. Now, nobody has a crystal ball that can predict the future with certainty, but knowing that the environment is disruptive, and using methods that create business plans that guide your organisation into the future will help. Finding tools that provide pace and allow you to change and react nimbly are what leaders are crying out for.

And strategy formulation that is led using a futurist mindset is the start point.

What it Looks Like in Practice 
Step 1

We hold one-on-one discussions with relevant leaders to understand their individual perspectives on the market, the business, the team and their ‘readiness’ to hold a futurist mindset and way of being, to prepare their organisation for what’s ahead.

Step 2

We initiate pre-thinking about what is happening in the world, market, and their organisation as well as what early trends they can see that could revolutionise, disrupt or provide opportunities for their organisation.

Step 3

We facilitate a 2-day strategic workshop with the leadership team using futurist tools and methods, and their research and pre-thinking. In the workshop they create a strategic direction, and develop flexible plans to lead them forwards. We also facilitate in a way that builds collaboration, alignment, transparency within the workshop, as well as within the organisation post-workshop.

Step 4

We facilitate short sense-checking quarterly or half-yearly sessions to assess changes in the environment, look at progress made and what needs to happen to existing plans.


Repeat the steps above in the time frame that makes most sense for your industry, and hand the ownership to you at a pace you are comfortable with.

We only take on strategic work if all the relevant leadership team members are involved. This is the only way to create alignment and ownership. In a world where all aspects of organisations, and the environment they operate in, are ultra-complex all perspectives are needed to ensure things aren’t missed.

We provide tools that assist leaders in looking closely to see what early and/or weak signs of change may provide challenges or opportunities for their business. This means that they can make some informed decisions about what direction, or directions, they should be taking in the long, medium and short-term.

We insist that leadership teams are ruthless in not trying to take on too much. Our guiding mantra is that ‘less is more’ and not to over-complicate or over-extend on how many paths you want to follow at any one time. This number depends on the size and make-up of the organization.

"CONTRACT’s facilitation of our executive management workshop provided a very productive space to map internal communication flows to achieve the company’s strategic goals."
Dr. Pieter Streicher
Managing Director
"CONTRACT helped the Table Bay Executive Team realise their full potential by committing to the strategy they helped us to put together. Their style of facilitation allows even the more reserved team members contribute meaningfully and they place enough urgency and the right amount of energy into making your company strategy work for you. We love working with CONTRACT, they always deliver."
Candice Sinclair
HR Manager
"Our engagement with CONTRACT adds tremendous value to the Africa Board Fellowship Programme (ABF) which focuses on strengthening governance of financial institutions serving low income individuals throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.  Judith and Lindiwe are excellent facilitators who create lively and interactive sessions covering difficult issues with board directors and CEOs.  They contribute so much to the success to the program and I can’t imagine carrying out our programme without them.  I heartily recommend CONTRACT."
Deborah Drake
Programme Director

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