Facilitating factors: conditions for success
Effective strategies need to be flexible in their implementation in response to changing circumstances.
There will inevitably be adjustments to this strategy over the next few years, and beyond, in response to new information, developments in technology, changes in public attitudes and other factors. The chances of successful implementation will be considerably increased if certain conditions are met:
- A sense of urgency is required. So too is realism about the amount of time it can take to research, experiment, evaluate and implement. We should not be held back by a desire for perfect information. We should proceed on the basis of what is known or can be reasonably inferred.
- The strategy needs to be supported by a robust annual review of priorities and actions to ensure resources continue to be appropriately focused.
- Priorities are intended to be just that. Everyone should resist the temptation to announce resource-intensive new initiatives without prior consideration against existing priorities. Any new initiative should be able to demonstrate that it will add greater value than existing ones in achieving the objectives. An agreed, coherent strategy ought to make it easier to resist uncoordinated demands for ill-considered action.
- Partnership working is key. Experience elsewhere suggests that progress is more likely to be achieved by the cumulative effect of numerous actions taken by different organisations. Working together towards common ends, drawing on experience elsewhere, will be more effective than any single dramatic new initiative.
- A plethora of activity, and a number of potentially overlapping trade bodies, create a risk that scarce resource in terms of funding or expertise will be wasted, or not fully exploited. The gambling industry is diverse in size and type of product and cannot realistically be expected to adopt a completely unified approach on all social responsibility issues at all times. But the chances of a coherent and co-operative approach to the agenda would be increased if the industry was able to build on existing cross-industry groups like IGRG and the Senet Group to create a single body to co-ordinate efforts, provide an overview and, where necessary, take the lead on specific issues.