Be Prepared with Scenario Planning

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Forbes published an article from Stephen Wunker that explores how we can leverage lessons learned from COVID-19 to develop, improve, and use scenario planning. 

Leading up to 2020, executives were already grappling with rising disruptive technologies, changing business models, and rivals emerging from unexpected places. Throw in a global pandemic, and the future seems about as predictable as a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with a hundred hands.

While some were poised to respond to the turbulence that coronavirus introduced to business environments, most were not. Traditional approaches to strategic planning have largely been unsuited to COVID times and have left companies vulnerable. So, what are businesses to do in an environment changing so quickly that strategic plans end up getting thrown out the window?

Enter scenario planning, a form of planning that leverages what you don’t know to bring multiple hypothetical futures into view. Scenario planning allows you to:

  • Gain insight into the key drivers of a situation
  • Embrace and control uncertainty
  • Recognize the assumptions your organization has been making
  • Expose your false sense of security

Sound uncomfortable? Good! Scenario planning isn’t new, but it is newly relevant in the age of coronavirus and beyond. Some industries and businesses have already adopted scenario planning for COVID—if you’re in any way connected to a college or university, you’ve likely received an email from the administration detailing the potential options for coming back to campus in the 2020-2021 academic year. Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, for example, distributed a list of six scenarios in early May.

 

Read the full article, Learning From Covid: How To Use Scenario Planning To Prepare For Future Uncertainty on Forbes.com.