Tuesday, 6 August 2013

"'Scenarios can’t predict the future, so what’s the point?”

Scenarios are really not designed to predict the future in themselves. Scenarios help us think of the unthinkable. We are constantly shocked when the unthinkable happens yet it happens regularly. We need to be able to cope with such events. The future is uncertain and so in an uncertain world predicting with historical and statistical data will not show us the unthinkable. This data does not point out to us that small changes can have drastic effects.

The problem I see with scenarios is not deciding to use them but it is asking the right question and then researching the most appropriate data to build your scenarios. If you can do this and then identifying the strategy that leads to success under all possible future conditions identified you are on a winner. This is trying to optimise across all scenarios to achieve your goals. Some times we know certain things will happen some of these driving forces can be political, societal, economic, technological and environmental. Once you have identified say 4 scenarios apply them and monitor them over a set time period and adjust them according as changes occur.

As you notice changes you identify how effective your scenarios are and adapt them to be more effective.