Daily family dog walks near home to break up work.

At work this month I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future, helping develop organisational designs and evaluating future scenarios.

It’s been fascinating to do more work in this space and find new challenges to solve, collaborating with a wider group of senior leaders across The Panoply.

Predicting the future with certainty is a flawed art during normal times, but the current social and economic situation has further undermined traditional planning and budgeting processes.

Visions for the future that were written just a few months ago can look very different and planned budgets for the financial year will be wholly redundant in many businesses that have closed, seen significant drops or spikes in demand.

All of which points to a need to find ways of managing plans and budgets in organisations, throwing away redundant yet ingrained annual budgeting cycles for something more agile.

I’ve believed for a long time that traditional hierarchical organisational structures aren’t appropriate for most organisations. They hinder individual contribution and rely on flawed assumptions about where decision-making best takes place.

This month I’ve spent some time looking in detail at an approach known as Beyond Budgeting. This framework is a useful tool to help organisations develop more iterative and adaptive planning processes.

While we can’t predict the future, we can certainly do better at understanding scenarios that might happen and make sure organisations are better prepared to respond to them.

As well as working with colleagues across The Panoply, I’ve also been collaborating closely with the GreenShoot Labs team this month. Last week I presented a very successful webinar looking at conversational AI in higher education – there’s a real sense that conversational AI tools have a role to play in helping this sector face the challenges ahead.

Meanwhile at Deeson, our transition to a new Managing Director continues to go well and our planned handover of responsibilities is ahead of where I expected us to be.

It’s heartening to see former colleagues on the Deeson team adjusting so effectively and successfully to the changed leadership roles – creating the next iteration of the Deeson digital agency business with genuine passion, energy and commitment in these challenging times.