The rapid – and largely unexpected – recent economic change have left many executives wondering about the best way to plan in such an unpredictable world. An increasing number are turning to scenario planning as they struggle to balance short-term survival imperatives with longer-term strategy for future changes.
Scenario Planning is not so much about “predicting” the future as it is about anticipating and planning for “possibilities.” Once several alternative possibilities have been identified, the planning challenge turns to developing capabilities that will allow the organization to be successful in several potential scenarios.
Some of the benefits of scenario planning include:
- Executives are encouraged to break out of their standard world view, exposing blind spots that are often overlooked in traditional forecasting activities.
- Decision makers improve their abilities to recognize scenarios in their early stages when quick action is likely to increase effectiveness
- Leadership flexibility improves as individuals come to recognize that the longer-term goal is to increase flexibility and agility in the face of an uncertain future
- Executives develop a deeper understanding of sources of disagreement that arise when they each envision different unarticulated scenarios
With more than two decades of strategic planning experience, Metrus consultants can help your management team:
- Set an appropriate scope and timeframe for your planning effort
- Identify critical environmental uncertainties upon which to build scenarios
- Identify scenario elements that are likely to be driving elements of the organization’s future
- Establish suitable departure points for developing and articulating each scenario
- Select an appropriate number of scenarios against which to plan
- Determine the likely impact of each scenario on the organization and formulate appropriate strategies.