Imagine you have just developed a number of thought-provoking scenarios. Mission accomplished, you might think. Well, not quite. Scenarios are more of a starting point than an endpoint. The real work begins now: thinking about the implications of the scenarios and, more importantly, how your organization can anticipate them. A common mistake is to select one scenario from the set. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. If only the world unfolded as we wish. As an organization, you need to consider that each of the scenarios can logically occur. This means that you must take all of them into account when making decisions.
There are roughly two main approaches to using scenarios. Some organizations primarily use scenarios for innovation, to generate new ideas. Other organizations use scenarios primarily to test their existing plans: are we engaging in wishful thinking with our plans, or are we prepared for different “weather conditions”? In other words, how robust is our strategy? Of course, these two applications can also be combined effectively. How can you update your existing strategy with new ideas to better equip yourself for an (unpredictable) future?
In practice, we often see organizations following a three-step process: 1. Generating strategic options, 2. Stress testing the current strategy/plans, and 3. Making concrete choices.
If you want to learn more about these steps in applying scenarios, you can download the article here.
Jeroen Toet is a senior strategist at Jester Jester Foresight. For over 10 years, he has helped organizations in the private and public sector make robust choices for the future using different foresight methods, among which scenario planning.
Question regarding this article? Get in touch with Jeroen: email@example.com of +31 6 11 45 13 11