God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference. (Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)

Strategy Formulation & Scenario Planning

Scenario planning, also called scenario thinking or scenario analysis, is a strategic planning method that some organizations use to make flexible long-term plans. Scenario planning may involve aspects of systems thinking, specifically the recognition that many factors may combine in complex ways to create sometime surprising futures (due to non-linear feedback loops).The method also allows the inclusion of factors that are difficult to formalize, such as novel insights about the future, deep shifts in values, unprecedented regulations or inventions. Systems thinking used in conjunction with scenario planning leads to plausible scenario storylines because the causal relationship between factors can be demonstrated . In these cases when scenario planning is integrated with a systems thinking approach to scenario development, it is sometimes referred to as dynamic scenarios (Wikipedia).

These combinations and permutations of fact and related social changes are called "scenarios". The scenarios usually include plausible, but unexpectedly important situations and problems that exist in some small form in the present day

Steps in the Scenario Planning Process

  1. Decide assumptions & drivers for change
  2. Bring drivers together into a viable framework
  3. Produce initial mini scenarios
  4. Reduce to two to three scenarios
  5. Write the scenarios
  6. Identify issues arising from the scenarios