Future-Proofing Your Strategy with Scenario Planning

Harvard Business

A conversation with consultant Peter Scoblic on scenario planning lessons from the U.S. Strategy Strategic planning Forecasting Crisis management AudioCoast Guard.

Scenario Planning - build alternative futures.

Management Craft

Am I less interested in management? BTW, I was looking at Thomas Chermack 's book, Scenario Planning in Organizations. Do you use scenario planning? Here is how Tom defines scenario planning (from his website): "Scenario planning is a discipline for building alternative futures in which decisions can be played out for the purposes of changing thinking, improving decision-making, fostering individual, team, and organizational learning, and improving performance.


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CIOs: Scenario Planning Can Save Your Job

Harvard Business Review

It''s the rare CIO who applies scenario planning to the business of IT. Yet, in a function driven by innovation and the uncertainties surrounding the application and implication of future technologies, not using scenarios is tantamount to management malpractice. Scenarios can help IT organizations create more resilient plans, practice for business climate changes, and better drive innovation. Creating More Resilient Plans. Scenarios and Innovation.

A Practical Approach to Managing Workforce During COVID-19

HR Digest

A structured strategy for managing workforce can bring consistency into overall operations during today’s challenging times by putting people first. Managing workforce in times of disruption. Featured Leadership Strategy managing workforce

Crisis Management: The Ultimate Test of a Leader | In the CEO.

In the CEO Afterlife

Crisis Management: The Ultimate Test of a Leader. How is it possible for three months of crisis management ineptitude to occur in an organization the size of BP with a product as environmentally toxic as oil? You’d think a company drilling on the ocean’s floor would be adept in risk management planning. There is not an absence of fear, but the management of fear. 4 Responses to Crisis Management: The Ultimate Test of a Leader. In the CEO Afterlife.

Exploring Alternate Futures Can Help Identify Future Leaders

N2Growth Blog

Scenarios and scenario-based planning are widely recognized as valuable tools in setting organizations’ visions and strategies. Shell is the most famed for their scenarios and their process for developing them and using them. In their annual survey on the management and planning tools used by thousands of companies around the world, Bain and Company show a consistent and deserved popularity of scenario planning.

Mindfulness as a Management Technique Goes Back to at Least the 1970s

Harvard Business

It first influenced business decades ago, through the development of an unmistakably hard skill that senior managers must master: strategic planning. Leaders today would be wise to learn from the past and to view strategic planning and mindfulness together. Pierre Wack, who was head of Group Planning at Royal Dutch/Shell in the 1970s, studied meditation extensively with teachers in Asia and, later, with the famous 20th-century mystic G.I.

The Death of Supply Chain Management

Harvard Business

To make the best decisions, managers need access to real-time data about their supply chain, but the limitations of legacy technologies can thwart the goal of end-to-end transparency. New digital technologies that have the potential to take over supply chain management entirely are disrupting traditional ways of working. Similarly, a steel company built a customized scenario-planning tool into its control tower platform that increases supply chain responsiveness and resilience.

How to Think Like a Futurist

Strategy Driven

It’s about coming up with possible scenarios for the future given these developments. Futurists use tools that systematize these recommendations including scenario planning, environmental scanning, Delphi surveying, and individual software programs like Fibres, Futures Platform, and Athena. Practices for Professionals business management futurist Strategic Planning strategydriven

Paul J.H. Schoemaker: A second interview by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Schoemaker is a pioneer in the field of decision sciences, among the first to combine the practical ideas of decision theory, behavioral economics, scenario planning, and risk management into a set of strategic decision-making tools for managers. Paul J.H.

The Olympics as a Story of Risk Management

Harvard Business Review

A terrorist incident, a breakdown of the London rail system, power blackouts, volcanic ash clouds , flooding, an outbreak of infectious disease—the London organizing committee (LOCOG) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) spent years thinking about every scenario they could imagine. Simulations of security incidents were rehearsed, and contingency plans for mass evacuations or emergency situations were put in place.

The Big Picture of Business – Achieving the Best by Preparing for the Worst: Lessons Learned from High-Profile Crises, part 4 of 4

Strategy Driven

Crisis management is so much more than handling of the media. We therefore mounted a full-scope crisis management initiative that focused heavily on after-the-crisis help for the victims and their families. There are three aspects to Crisis Management and Preparedness. This securing and evaluation of programs needed or in-progress has enabled corporate management to make informed decisions, take swift action and avoid possible litigation. Next comes Crisis Planning.

How Organizations Can Thrive in the Digital Economy - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM KORN FERRY

Harvard Business

Agile businesses run planning and execution in parallel, investing in scenario planning so they can act promptly when opportunities arise. This means streamlining reporting lines, engaging a wider group of stakeholders from the outset, sharing ideas and plans before they’re fully formulated, and seeking input along the way. Managing organizations Technology Economy Strategy execution Sponsor ContentImage courtesy of Korn Ferry.

SPM 59

The Big Picture of Business: Putting Budgeting Into Perspective, The Bigger Picture of Strategic Planning

Strategy Driven

Budgets get more attention than the umbrellas under which they rightfully belong: Strategic Planning and Visioning. By itself, Budgeting does not constitute full-scope planning and business strategy. Questions to follow in Budgeting as part of Strategic Planning and Visioning processes include: Does this process increase your accountability to funding sources and to the public? Are budgeting measures used to manage performance? How diverse is the planning committee?

Make Your Strategy More Agile

Harvard Business

Sure, the value of an in-depth discovery phase; comprehensive, quantitative, and qualitative research; stakeholder interviews; scenario planning; and alignment are undisputed. And how often have you crafted a meticulous three-year strategic plan, only to have it become obsolete after a few months, or even weeks? Strategic thinking Managing yourself Managing uncertainty Digital ArticleCan you run fast and go deep at the same time?

Is Your Company Ready to Protect Its Reputation from Deep Fakes?

Harvard Business

An obvious scenario, one that some companies might find themselves dealing with in the not-too-distant future, is a faked video of their CEO making racist or sexist comments, or bribing a politician. In addition, companies must begin to factor deep fakes and other reality-distortion techniques into their crisis-scenario planning. Risk management Social platforms Digital Articlet_kimura/Getty Images.

Business Model Generation : Blog | Executive Coaching | CO2 Partners


The Empathy Map looks like this: In this chapter the authors walk you through processes to arrive a enhanced design like Customer Insights, ideation, providing an introduction to the value of visual thinking, how to use prototyping, story telling, and Scenario Planning. Process : This business model design has 5 phases; Mobilize, Understand, Design, Implement and Manage. His book Just Ask Leadership - Why Great Managers Always Ask The Right Questions (McGraw Hill 2009).

4 Signs That Your Focus Is Holding You Back at Work

Harvard Business

They have to manage their brain’s energy demands , timing their work so that their energy levels peak only when necessary. This management of energy often requires switching between focus and unfocus. And since imagining future events involves tinkering with information stored in various brain regions from past experiences (to create novel associations and scenarios), this requires the brain’s unfocus circuit to be activated. Focus is an invaluable trait.

A Better Approach to Infrastructure Planning

Harvard Business Review

But in terms of their objectives and planning horizons, there is often a yawning gap between these private and public sector players. It is not hard to see why the two sides find it challenging to confer about infrastructure needs – much less participate in each other’s planning processes. It’s difficult for the public sector to coordinate planning across regions and modes. This makes scenario planning an effective approach for long-range freight transportation planning.

How Multinationals Should Be Planning for Brexit

Harvard Business

Only a minority of firms is well ahead in planning and preparing a UK market strategy. At the recent Brexit Workshop we held for clients — in this case, 19 UK heads of some of the world’s largest multinational firms — 10 of them had not started or had only just begun planning for Brexit. But that doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t start the work required to come up with a plan. How to Plan for Brexit. Understand possible scenarios.

Create a Strategy That Anticipates and Learns

Harvard Business

The restaurant chain, Olive Garden, uses predictive analytics to guide its food buying and retail staffing plans. But maybe the thrill of accomplishment in these pockets is diverting senior managers’ attention from another, even more critical opportunity: Digital technologies are also rapidly changing how managers can acquire and assess the information they use to develop and execute on enterprise-wide strategy.


Navigating the Complexities of Doing Business in Russia

Harvard Business

and European elections, to management of the Syrian War, it’s clear that relations between the West and Russia have become increasingly hostile. This will likely continue to make business planning even more difficult. But based on the experience and strategies of our clients, there are ways that they can manage the uncertainty. These can be laid out in scenario plans with specific mitigation actions assigned to help businesses react quickly if necessary.

Persevering Through Extreme Uncertainty

Harvard Business Review

Scenario planning is impossible. Gender Informal leadership Leadership Managing uncertaintyWhat does it take to be a corporate trailblazer? I recently found an answer to this question in an unexpected place — talking to three Afghan women in downtown Kabul. The first woman founded a large Afghani news agency several years ago. Her home was subsequently bombed multiple times by those who would prefer that the country's reality not be presented to the world.

Mindfulness Can Improve Strategy, Too

Harvard Business

Practically speaking, can organizational leaders integrate mindfulness practices into strategic planning processes? As UCLA’s Richard Rumelt, a leading expert on strategic planning, writes in his book Good Strategy, Bad Strategy , one of the quintessential components of good strategy is the ability to take a step out of the internal storyline and shift viewpoints. So how can organizations bring more space to strategic planning? FERIDUN AKGÜNGÖR.

Be Prepared for What You Don't See Coming

Harvard Business Review

For example, sometimes when a senior manager makes a request, it causes a cascade of activity that is far beyond what she intended. To minimize their negative impact, there are two steps that managers can take: Plan ahead (as much as you can). One way to reinforce this assumption is to engage in scenario planning before pulling the trigger, preferably by engaging people who will be affected by the change. Change management Managing uncertainty Strategy

The G-20 is 2011's Biggest Political Risk

Harvard Business Review

For example, when it comes to preparation for a possible showdown involving North Korea, there has been no discussion or scenario planning between American and Chinese top brass — not a recipe for good crisis management. David Gordon is the head of research at Eurasia Group and former director of policy planning at the U.S. Economy Risk management

Create a Strategy That Anticipates and Learns

Harvard Business Review

The restaurant chain, Olive Garden, uses predictive analytics to guide its food buying and retail staffing plans. But maybe the thrill of accomplishment in these pockets is diverting senior managers’ attention from another, even more critical opportunity: Digital technologies are also rapidly changing how managers can acquire and assess the information they use to develop and execute on enterprise-wide strategy.


China’s Slowdown: The First Stage of the Bullwhip Effect

Harvard Business Review

The essence of the phenomenon is the fact that each stage in the supply chain plans its capital projects and operations, including inventory levels, based on its future expectations. Demand forecasting may become more challenging as demand patterns change, and companies may be advised to look into forecasting methods based on scenario planning rather than historical patterns. Operations Operations management Supply chain Manufacturing Article

Living in a Radical State of Uncertainty

Harvard Business Review

Old efficiency thinking based on engineering and rational market models needs to be replaced by a creative intelligence based on imagining, building and managing new futures. The kind of thinking generated by scenario planning, video/war-gaming, and design thinking need to move from the margins of corporations and government organizations to core strategic positions. Risk management Strategy

What a Changing NAFTA Could Mean for Doing Business in Mexico

Harvard Business

While consumer spending has proven resilient, with same-store retail sales rising 6% YOY in April , most multinational corporations are developing contingency plans to mitigate risks to their businesses and reassessing the country’s role in their global market portfolio and supply chains. Most Mexico country managers believe one of the following scenarios is likely: A long period of populist-driven uncertainty.

Reimagining the Boardroom for an Age of Virtual Reality and AI

Harvard Business Review

It would be an antidote to the insularity that so many boards are criticized for, and a useful complement to the simulations and war-game tools that help with scenario planning and anticipating competitors’ moves. Let’s also consider enterprise social-network tools and workflow management programs , like Yammer and Trello , which can facilitate more dynamic communication among board members and help them analyze their activities, interactions, voting patterns, and so on.

Tools 12

Six Classes Your Employer Wishes You Could Take

Harvard Business Review

Scenarios. Scenario planning is as essential for strategy formulation as it is for the design of next generation technologies and industries. Thinking in terms of scenarios forces people to rigorously examine fundamental assumptions and unexpected risks. Scenarios demand expository and analytic, as well as literary, skills. What serious employer doesn''t want to hire someone who can envision and articulate scenarios describing the future(s) of the enterprise?

ExxonMobil’s Shareholder Vote Is a Tipping Point for Climate Issues

Harvard Business

Such a move might create inertia for some companies and investors if they see it as evidence that “business as usual” is now the most likely climate scenario. We witnessed a monumental event in a shareholder resolution calling on ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest publicly listed energy company, to disclose the impact on its business under a 2-degree scenario. Last week the world listened as Donald Trump announced, ‘We are out,’ proclaiming the U.S.

What Research Tells Us About Making Accurate Predictions

Harvard Business Review

” Perhaps most notably, top predictors managed to improve over time, and several interventions on the part of the researchers improved accuracy. Interestingly, a smaller group were trained in scenario planning , but this turned out not to be as useful as the training in probabilistic reasoning.). “Prediction is very difficult,” the old chestnut goes, “especially about the future.” ” And for years, social science agreed.

Setting Strategy in Egypt's (and Other) Shifting Sands: A Four-Part Approach

Harvard Business Review

Consultants came to their assistance with solutions to short-term concerns ranging from moving out cash to halting expansion plans. There is a danger that even after dealing with the crisis, managers will continue to give short shrift to their nonmarket and other fundamental corporate choices. This means that senior managers need to anticipate potential contagion — and take steps before crowds flood the streets and start demanding the overthrow of more incumbent leaders.

Get Ready for the New Era of Global Manufacturing

Harvard Business Review

Manufacturing leaders will need to manage not only across geographies, but across their own organizational silos and beyond to a virtual ecosystem of suppliers and partners. For example, in a world of rising and complex risk, they will need to adopt planning systems that don't rely on point forecasts, but use scenario planning.

4 Strategies for Women Navigating Office Politics

Harvard Business Review

In 2013, we conducted a number of interviews and surveyed 270 female managers in Fortune 500 organizations to determine what they liked and disliked about business meetings. According to Gail’s manager, she had a solid reputation, and her work was considered to be impeccable. Let planning trump politics. To inject some predictability into the most crucial of organizational interactions, he uses scenario planning to map out strategies.