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Environmental Scanning Services

It is impossible to develop successful business strategy in a dynamic world without understanding the forces impacting the future of your industry or profession.

A professional environmental scan helps you understand the environment in which your association and its members operate. It allows you to more accurately predict and prepare for future challenges, opportunities, or address member needs.

Association Laboratory’s customized environmental scanning services give you and your leaders insight into what the future facing your stakeholders looks like so you can develop more successful strategy and mitigate risk for the association.

Association Laboratory is a nationally-recognized leader in association futures research and environmental scanning. We’ve conducted more than 100 environmental scans across 20 different industry sectors. We produce the nation’s longest running and most comprehensive environmental scan of the association industry, Looking Forward, and we’ve worked with leading associations like the ASAE Foundation and the PCMA Foundation on scans of key domains within the association sector.

Based on our proprietary primary research, Association Laboratory has produced an environmental scanning model that allows for the identification of macro changes in the stakeholder environment. This model examines five distinct areas:

External Factors

Changes in the environment beyond the control of the association or its industry or members. These are factors substantively external to the profession or industry and its participants.

Organizational Factors

Changes within the organizations that represent the predominant employing entity within the industry. These are factors affecting individual companies or organizations.

Industry Factors

Changes within the industry in which the association’s members are predominantly active. These are factors affecting groups of companies or organizations in the same business domains, commonly referred to as industries.

Personal Factors

Changes in the personal lives of individual members or the people who work at member organizations. These are factors affecting the individual.

Professional Factors

Changes within the profession that is predominant within the organization represented or served by the association. These are factors affecting groups of individuals commonly organized by profession. They impact groups of individuals.

Environmental or futures scanning is an essential component of virtually every strategic decision, from strategic planning to membership value proposition development.

For more information and examples of Association Laboratory’s work in futures research, please visit Futures Research in our Knowledge Center.

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