Various methodologies can be used in Futures Thinking but scenario planning is probably the most well-known. So, what exactly is scenario planning and what does it entail?
The business dictionary defines scenario planning as a process of visualising:
(1) What future conditions or events are probable?
(2) What their consequences or effects would be like, and
(3) How to respond to- or benefit - from them.
Peter Schwartz in his book “The Art of the Long View” states that scenarios are stories that can help one to recognise and adapt to your present environment. Scenario planning is a method to help you identify the different future possibilities and the ways of navigating these possibilities. Scenario planning can also be defined as a structured way for organisations to think about the future.
What does scenario planning entail?
Scenarios are a creative and shared process that allows time for reflection about the organisation and its future. It also provides a structured process for people to start ‘consciously’ thinking about the longer term future and possible implications for strategy today.
In general, a scenario planning exercise will start by identifying the focal question, where after environmental scanning will take place. The drivers of change are then identified, followed by the building of the scenario matrix. Thereafter starts the process of developing the scenarios, presenting different scenarios, and considering their strategic implications.
The Institute for Futures Research, of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, in partnership with USB Executive Development Ltd, has identified a need expressed by executives to have an opportunity to learn more about and practice applying scenario planning.
The IFR will present a 2 day workshop in Johannesburg on 22 and 23 August 2017 and in Cape Town on 19 and 20 September 2017.
For more information and to register your attendance, please contact Marie van Wyk at firstname.lastname@example.org