Greyhound Racing South Australia – Futures Design Program

How do you push a traditional-minded industry body beyond their comfort zone to reimagine a new future?

Greyhound Racing South Australia

Key points

  • The future of the industry includes multiple challenges, such as an ageing demographic, a Greyhound population shortage, and a growing anti-racing sentiment.
  • Participants explored the topics of governance and growing participation and sentiment across the life of the Greyhound beyond racing and wagering.
  • The Futures Design Program concluded with the development of three proposed pilots. Each pilot will contribute to the refinement and delivery of the group’s future vision. It is anticipated that outcomes will influence the strategic plan.
Greyhound Racing South Australia
Greyhound Racing South Australia

Their brief to us

At a time when anti-racing sentiment is growing and interest in the sport wanes, the future of Greyhound Racing South Australia (GRSA) needed to be ‘reimagined’ as a vision beyond wagering. 

The goal of the Futures Design Program was to bring the GRSA leadership team together to speculate and create a future for the Greyhound Racing industry in which ‘business as usual’ looks vastly different. 

GRSA needed a blueprint for action which would further benefit the welfare of Greyhounds, reactivate community interest in the sport to ensure its long-term financial sustainability. This plan for the future was co-designed with community and industry members during a Futures Design Program.

What we did

GRSA’s Executive team embarked on a Futures Design Program that incorporated the following focus areas: Problem Framing, Speculative Design, Possible Futures. This program included key people in the organisation as well as external, C-Suite cross-industry stakeholders. External C-Suite stakeholders were included as part of discussions to help build a world-view from their domains. They also contributed to identify possible opportunities that GRSA could continue to develop beyond the program. 

Through the Problem Framing workshop, we were able to isolate the following four themes as opportunities for innovation at GRSA. Core to each theme was a universal concern regarding participation:

  1. Company and structure
  2. Social and community
  3. Policy and regulation
  4. Commercial and product

This was then fed back into the Speculative Design session. Speculative Design invited an external view from C-Suite stakeholders not related to GRSA. Participants shared industry insights and experiences to formulate a world view while kicking off the process of ideation for two extreme but plausible scenarios that would require GRSA to rethink and potentially redesign their business model. Both themes encouraged participants to explore questions such as ‘How might we keep industry engagement during the change?’ and ‘How might we continue to evolve the model to ensure growth?’

Possible Futures produced a high-level capability analysis against the four themes so that GRSA can build upon what is already in place to support change. With this information, the group was able to create three potential test pilots which play to the existing strengths of the organisation, whilst seizing opportunities for growth.

The Result

The outcome of the program enabled GRSA’s Exec and Management team to challenge more conventional thinking. From starting the program with a narrow focus on wagering, they were able to zoom out to explore more radical thinking. This resulted in identifying gaps and opportunities in their existing business model that would further benefit the wellbeing of Greyhounds while raising the standard of the sport. 

GRSA now has three potential pilots that have been endorsed by the Leadership team and will be actioned beyond the Design Program. The purpose of the pilots are to help the group validate insights and ideas from the workshop to test desirability for the community, general viability, and the feasibility of further investment with the view of being incorporated into GRSA’s strategic plan.

Matthew Corby, CEO Greyhound Racing South Australia

More Space For Light took us away from comfortable concepts and established truths, to enable us to explore opportunities in a way that we were simply not used to doing. The process identified new possibilities for a future version(s) of the sport. The process was logical, structured and engaging and the quality of the facilitation was a credit to More Space.

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