Future-Proofing in the Face of Change

Human-Centered Strategy Planning

Technological innovation is spurring rapid social and economic change. Meanwhile, political institutions are often divided on how to plan beyond the short-term, resulting in unpredictable and inconsistent policies. In this uncertain environment, companies and government agencies are increasingly forced to compete over scarce resources, creating immense pressure to effectively manage systems and personnel and to prudently invest in the future. Organizations and teams must be agile, with a resilient strategy that can endure imminent but unknown change.

The Challenge – Ensure safety & reliability of the National Airspace for another 20 years

Case in point, the aerospace industry is simultaneously one of the most innovative and perplexing markets to navigate. From the growth of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the progress of commercial space operations, players in this market must quickly identify how to ensure safety and confidence in this pioneering sector.

For a recent engagement, one of the largest stakeholders associated in the National Airspace System (NAS) asked Evans Incorporated to help them find a way to effectively prepare for the broad range of areas of potential, disruptive change that may come over the next two decades. To develop and deploy a sustainable solution, our experts employed their insightful strategy consulting solutions to address an issue with more variables than constants. Key activities included the following:

  • Analysis of strategies, concepts, and technologies driving the industry’s changing dynamics to better understand the potential impacts of those changes
  • Development of a strategic plan for the client team and key partners to achieve their desired future objectives
  • Sustained engagement and alignment with the executive vision, enabling the client to inform near-term decisions and investment plans, informed by insight into industry trends and aligned with the client’s long-term strategic objectives

The Approach – Generate buy-in through collaborative idea generation

To address the client’s needs, Evans Incorporated partnered with the leader in scenario-based strategic planning. Over eight months, our team collaborated with our client to craft four alternative future scenarios, which were then used to identify a range of strategies, concepts and technologies that could play a role in shaping aerospace and aviation over the next 20 years. Our approach involved the following key phases:

  • Intensively analyzed documents and interviewed with executives and experts: This provided insights about trends related to technology, demographics, governance, market demand and society that could potentially affect the industry
  • Core team management: Guided a small group of mid-level managers from the client organization as they conducted their own research on key topics and brainstormed the potential future outcomes in detail, collaboratively crafting the four future scenarios
  • Strategy workshop facilitation: Drove collaboration among dozens of senior leaders who immersed themselves in the four scenarios and extrapolated how the scenarios might impact aerospace, aviation and NAS operations
  • Synthesis of strategic needs: Captured identifying themes and outlining courses of action for the client to incorporate into its strategic plan during the workshop

The truth is that no one can predict a single future, but through our use of scenario-based planning, our client was able to identify fundamental strategic needs that must be met in any potential future state, as well as highly critical needs that might become prominent under more specific conditions.

The Outcome – Craft a resilient strategy with full stakeholder support

Faced with seemingly insurmountable variability in the future of their industry, our client developed an integrated, comprehensive plan to prepare its stakeholders for the future – however it may unfold. This project produced the following key outcomes:

  • A proactive approach to our client’s strategic evolution and generation of its long-term vision, including regulatory requirements, resource allocation, workforce planning, and more
  • Legitimate buy-in from the client’s team members, embracing future change as opportunity to evolve, and owning their own roles in solution development
  • Elevated client reputation as a responsible steward in the industry, recognized for proactive, impactful thought-leadership

The Evans Advantage – Create enduring strategy through human-centered solutions

With such high-stakes for the aerospace industry and our client’s vital role to support it, they had no option to wait for change to come and then react to it. Instead, they stepped into the void and dared to define their future despite the ambiguity of what may come.

You too can confront the extraordinary head-on. The people-focused Evans Incorporated approach:

  • Provides the necessary structure to ensure that each participant contributes useful insights to the mission
  • Connects clients with impactful specialists that offers unmatched solutions to clarify obstacles and reveal opportunities for investment and potential problem areas
  • Produces the necessary acceptance of the recommendations because it generates a truthful and useful end product from key stakeholders, not prescribed, cookie-cutter solutions

Evans Incorporated supports our client by providing solution-focused methods that bring external stakeholders and internal members together to generate creative alternatives to be better prepared for their shared future.

To find out more about how Evans’ human-centered approach to strategy can enrich you and your organization, please contact Jesse Lambert, Senior Principal & Strategic Planning Practice Lead, at or (703) 969-9680.