Scenario Planning for 2007

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Happy New Year


Even though I am not much on resolutions, I do find myself thinking about goals and plans for the New Year. And I’ll bet that you may be thinking similar things.

In a couple of hours, I will be meeting with a client who wants to embark on scenario planning for his organization. I like scenario planning. It creates multiple pictures of what might happen. It offers a strong dose of reality to the planning process. So instead of looking at one vision and one strategy, you seriously consider “what if?” types of questions. What will it look like if the Pacific Rim industries begin to sell products in our market for less than we can manufacture them? What will it look like if our costs of doing business sky rockets? What if we find a cure for the disease we are working on?

These tough questions lead to compelling stories – or scenarios – of these possible futures.


I came across a short article titled Plotting Your Scenarios by Jay Ogilvy and Peter Schwartz. They are with GBN Global Business Network. I am not recommending them as consultants because I don’t know them. But I do know that Schwartz wrote The Art of the Long View, a fine book about scenario planning.

I thought the article might help you think a little differently as you plan for the year ahead. If that doesn’t work, try a Google search using the title of the article and one of the authors’ names.

Good luck in 2007.