See how our drivers work in action

Understanding how our drivers work

I found this diagram really helpful in understanding how our drivers relate, to each other and to any given organisation.

Your organisation sits within an 'operating environment' where changes are occuring which can clearly and directly impact on your work (eg shifts in funding, or government policies related to your field). Outside this is the wider 'external environment', a world of trends and events in the political, economic, social and technological spheres. Many of these may not be important for your organisation (they may not be your drivers) but some will be important, sometimes because of how they impact on the drivers in your operating environment.

So for example in this diagram, you can see how the economic downturn influences levels of public spending, which in turn influence pressures to demonstrate efficiency and value for money. Both the latter drivers have direct implications for many organisations and need factoring into future plans.

Sometimes our drivers can seem a little complex and inter-related:

Which is more relevant to me? Ethnic and religious diversity? Or global population movements?

When you don't have much time, trying to tease out the sometimes quite subtle differences between drivers can be off-putting. But it is worthwhile because knowing how the drivers relate can be key to understanding the future direction of the drivers that you identify as most important to you (see our hints on sifting, sorting and prioritising). The key is to start with the three or four vital drivers for your organisation and then explore the drivers that are related to these. This will add richness to your analysis and robustness to your future planning.

How to understand drivers

Want to see more?

If you like this visual way of understanding the relationship between drivers, you'll probably be as excited as we are about the new visual guide to our entire drivers bank due to be launched in the New Year. Designed to help you navigate your way through the often complex relationships between drivers across the political, economic, social and technological spectrum, our new guide will help you better understand exactly which drivers you should be considering in your plans.

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Last updated at 16:00 Thu 03/Feb/11.
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How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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