The European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations (EFCA) has launched a report called ‘Which way to go? Strategic scenarios for consulting engineers in times of high uncertainty’ aimed at business leaders making critical decisions in difficult times, such as following the Covid19 global pandemic. The EFCA’s Future Trends Committee, together with the Center for Strategy and Scenario Planning at HHL Graduate School of Management, Leipzig, explored the future and examined possible strategic developments.
A way of providing direction in times of uncertainty is to start with scenarios that show how the future might unfold in completely different ways. The report describes four scenarios for the consulting engineering industry, based on ‘critical uncertainties.
Although digital technologies have turned a lot of our processes and work behaviour upside down, they are no longer regarded as ‘uncertain’. We know we need to continue with digitalisation. What we are less aware of, or at least, less able to accept as a direct impact on our performance, is the mixture of external challenges: the daily threat of climate change, over-indebtedness and highly pressured global financial systems, an increasingly discordant European Union, even war, conflict and refugees affecting our borders. Such issues can directly, and jointly, impact consulting engineers. But how? The future is foggy, and visibility is poor. Where will the changes end? Which trends will prove to be decisive in assessing the future? What will our industry look like in five years´ time? Which key drivers will be formative for our market? How can our companies stay successful in a changing environment? These questions are not easy to answer in the increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. This report aims to highlight some potential scenarios which may exist in the future related to these challenges.