Don't fall into the trap is to be paralyzed by the multitude of possibilities. Keep it simple and focus on two major uncertainties.
Don't believe that you have to choose one particular scenario and build your strategy around it. Scenario planning is not about choosing just one option for the future but rather dealing with all of the possible outcomes to develop a strategy that will stand the test of all scenarios.
When developing your different scenarios, try to not look at the short term. Do not hesitate to look far ahead, anticipating what the market and competitors are going to be over the next years.
By Jay Ogilvy Strategic foresight can be gained through more than one lens. Beyond the microscope of simple budgeting and the macroscope of geopolitics lie still other tools for probing the future. As I settle into the role of contributor to this space, I want to explore multiple futures and multiple perspectives. [...]
It has two parts, with the first five steps, concentrating on which particular scenarios to work on, and the rest three steps towards the story, implications and indicators.
Focal Issue: identify what to focus on.
Key Factors: brainstorm about the various factors influencing the focal issue. There can be numerous obvious factors and further digging can discover the less obvious, hidden ones.
External Forces: there are always certain remote, unseen forces that operate on the focal issue, and can be geopolitical, economic, social or technological. This may result in 70 to 80 key factors/external forces.
Critical Uncertainties: by combining all forms of key factors by implementing a divergent process, the next step is to converge by allocating priority votes to the importance of each factor and the degree of uncertainty.
Scenario Logics: a decision is taken on which potential futures out of the curated list are to be developed into a detailed scenario.
Scenarios: the eligible (top trending) scenarios are then turned into a story by a single author.
Implications and Options: fact check and stress-test each of the scenarios is set up after a few weeks.
Early Indicators can be easily found in consumer behaviour or stock price fluctuation.
Uncertainty is like the weather. It's always there, part of the atmosphere, and a condition over which individuals and organizations have very little control. The severity of uncertainty, like the severity of the weather, can rise and fall. At the moment, around the world, CEOs are operating under a series of severe uncertainty alerts.
Organizations should be inclined toward action. As a baseline, companies must strive to be fit for growth. This can be done by aligning costs with priorities and strategy, investing in varied capabilities, and using traditional and digital levers to execute.
They must regularly engage in scenario planning with an array of options. They must build the capacity to be agile. They must learn to become more resilient to withstand strong external forces and quickly recover from setbacks.
It's a common complaint among top executives: "I'm spending all my time managing trivial and tactical problems, and I don't have time to get to the big-picture stuff." And yet when I ask my executive clients, "If I cleared your calendar for an entire day to free you up to be 'more strategic,' what would you actually do?"
An executive needs those she leads to translate strategic insights into choices that drive results. For people to commit to carrying out an executive’s strategic thinking, they have to both understand and believe in it. But repeated explanations don’t necessarily increase people’s understanding and ownership of strategy. Making them discuss the pros and cons of it make it so the problem is better understood and flaws are identified and fixed increasing ownership for success.
When someone is promoted into a function that requires strategic leadership it’s easy to spend time fixing what was wrong in their previous function but that often isn’t what the strategic leadership position requires. So, identify the strategic requirements of your job and focus on them.