Business Talk: Scenario Planning – prepare for an Unknown Future

Nokia CEO once said, “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”. Indeed, we are now living in the V.U.C.A world, which is Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. This means anticipating transformation is more complicated, trends may come up and stop suddenly, and consequences of resisting changes are bigger and faster than before.

In order to be successful, CEO and the team through observation and imagination skills foresee the future and its possible opportunities for the company in this V.U.C.A world. And the process of Managing the Future, Scenario Planning, is the main topic that Professor Pascal has shared in his talk on Aug 8th.

There are three main Key Points in his talk:
1. Predict the future and possible opportunities
2. Define strategies aligned with megatrends and scenario planning tools
3. Initiate the changes within an organization using Program Management

  1. Future – it’s not about technology, but about Behavior using Technology.

Do you know? The average American has over 31 hours of activities per day as they can do highly multitask. Particularly, people spend more time on smartphones and take a lot of advantages from its applications such as online shopping, mobile/online payment, transportation, or for working purposes.

And you can use Megatrends as a framework for decision making in the turbulent period. As it is a long-term steady development and has a broad impact on future success of countries, companies and organizations. The seven megatrends are shaping the world’s future:
– Demographic dynamics
– Globalization & future markets
– Scarcity of resources
– Challenges of climate change
– Technology & innovation
– Global knowledge society
– Collaboration – Interregional Cooperation

  1. Define strategies aligned with megatrends and scenario planning tools

Normally, CEO and the team will have Strategic Planning for the business future. However, in this fast moving world this way might not work out. It will lay foundations for movement or shifting in the future. So, every decision is based on data analysis and degree of uncertainty. But this also means too static and not enough fast and dynamic. That’s why we need to do Scenario planning.

Scenario Planning is a method of preparing for the future regardless of what happens. It defines critical uncertainties and develops plausible scenarios in order to discuss impacts and responses according. This way is more expandable, promotes motivation and creative thinking, and can be used as a communication tool.

Scenario development process will have 5 critical steps:
Step 1: Establish a clear decision focus
Step 2: Identify key drivers of change (Key basic trends PESTEL and Key uncertainties/ Opportunities)
Step 3: Develop the scenario outline
Step 4: Determine implications of each scenario
Step 5: Summarize overall strategies.

  1. Initiate the changes within an organization using Program Management

Finally, We have Program Management for an organizational transformation. It is the process of managing several related projects with the goals of improving an organization’s performance. This includes:
Piloting tools
And stages of change, which has 5 stages: Wake-Up Call; Vision; Structuration; Appropriation; & Sustainability

The key success factors of this process are:
• Scope of clear and known projects
• Definition of global objectives at project level
• Precise and prioritized planning
• Budget for implementation
• Identified and trained resources (quality, quantity)
• Clear definition of roles and responsibilities
• Measurement and tracking (pragmatic)
• Quick Wins

Charles Dawin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” Hope that you find in this article some ideas for your work or business planning.

More academic events is coming. And Master in Marketing and Communication Management will open next March 03/2020. If you’re interested, feel free to contact us.

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