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Why scenario planning

What will my industry look like five or ten years from now?

What products will customers buy in the future?

What strategies are best suited for entering a market or addressing a policy problem?

In our complex and fast changing world, such questions are not easy to answer. Traditional strategic planning tools increasingly fail to provide convincing solutions, since they project linear developments, assume stable growth rates and rely on traditional trend forecasting. As we have seen during the global economic crisis of 2009/2010 or the Euro crisis in2011/12, this no longer works.


Scenario planning might be instrumented in these times of uncertainty. By accounting for complexity, volatility and trend disruptions, scenario planning tools ensure that: 

  • strategic planning considers uncertainty and allows to plan for multiple outcomes

  • decision-makers remain responsive to unexpected developments

  • organizations can flexibly and quickly adapt to changing environments.

Significantly different from scenario tools of the 1970s, modern scenario planning incorporates top decision-makers in the scenario development process. It combines global scenario knowledge with individual needs and goals, and it uses innovative data management algorithms to quantify future paths. This makes today's scenario planning a fast, well-grounded and business-oriented strategy tool.

 

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