The Man Who Saw The Future
from the scenario-planning dept
Regular Techdirt readers know that I’m a huge fan of scenario planning and use it quite often in on the corporate side of Techdirt. I still think it’s one of the most useful tools out there for a business to make sure they’re well positioned to survive rapid shifts in their business environemnt that are guaranteed to happen – whether they like it or not. Strategy+Business is running a great
profile of Pierre Wack, one of the earliest practitioners of scenario planning. They say what frustrated him most, and what other scenario planners are discovering, is that too many managers look on scenario planning as a short workshop to expand their thinking – and not as a way to really manage their business. The other issue is that people still look at it as “predicting the future” rather than as a way of thinking about potential futures – and preparing for any of them. There’s a great example given by the author where a company he did scenario planning for looked at all the positive scenarios and simply ignored the negative one. That’s not scenario planning – it’s wishful thinking. The point of scenario planning is to bring all these issues on to the table, and figure out the best strategy no matter what actually happens. Doing so makes sure that you’re prepared to act decisively when necessary – and the only way to really make that work is to instill a culture where scenario planning is an everyday process, instead of a 3 day workshop.