Managing Uncertainty with Scenario Planning

Within many companies, the usual thinking about the future assumes it will resemble what has already happened. For this reason, forecasts assume the status quo, or something awfully close to it. But our ongoing COVID-19 reality reminds us that we can’t be sure that the status quo will be maintained. Our best guess—our forecast—is only one possibility among many.

Scenario planning can support planning by allowing organizations to think about radically different futures, and how the business might best respond to these futures. Embracing scenario planning makes organizational leaders more agile in their thinking, more sensitive to signals that the wind may be shifting, and more prepared to respond as needed. And, the responses you develop to prepare for future scenarios may also be of practical use today!

Take a look at our fusing with Steve Player for a more in-depth look at the history and utility of scenario planning.

This is an original adaptable illustration.