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Scenario Planning

Prepare for an Unpredictable Future

Senior executives are always looking for insight into the future so they can make better strategic decisions in the present, and they know they face difficult challenges. Among the traps and pitfalls that await them, there is:

  • The danger of groupthink, the tendency for people to agree with others in a peer group without sufficient critical thought.
  • The possibility of tunnel vision, looking too narrowly at the future and missing important elements that happen to lie outside of the tunnel.
  • And the risks associated with relying too much on predictions, which, when they don’t come true, render carefully-prepared plans useless, or worse.

Scenario planning is a systematic planning method that addresses these shortcomings. This approach, pioneered at Royal Dutch Shell, offers a more effective way to think about the future. Instead of attempting one-dimensional predictions that will determine our plans, we use a discovery process to explore explore key trends and emerging factors, and to understand the risk and reward profiles of possible futures that may emerge. We then make plans to accommodate a wide range of possible future outcomes, and develop strategies that confer the greatest advantage in multiple possible futures.

InnovationLabs has led dozens of scenario planning projects, with consistently outstanding results.

Recent Projects

Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)

The FSMB is at the forefront of changes in the practice of health care, and wanted to initiate a project to understand the key trends driving the health care professions. They worked with InnovationLabs to conduct a comprehensive Scenario Planning process that led to an important new initiative in which has evolved the creation of a new multi-stakeholder organization to promote a new set of guidelines for Good Medical Practice throughout the U.S.

NCB Capital Impact

This successful and influential community development lender used a scenario planning workshop involving its entire staff to launch its 3-year strategic planning cycle, and at the same time to stimulate people to develop innovative ideas throughout the business.

Total Oil

For the last three 3 years InnovationLabs has led series of very successful scenario planning workshop for leaders from throughout the company’s global operations.

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