Virtual Scenario Planning

•June 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Connecting To-Through and Within Technology

As we now connect “within” technology, the capability to meet synchronously for scenario planning activities is a real option for geographically disbursed stakeholders. Synchronous options that come to mind are: virtual worlds, video conferencing, virtual classrooms, etc…even mobile technologies, augmented reality platforms, etc. can be useful as well.

Virtual Scenario Planning…

•August 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Jamais Cascio had an interesting post found at:

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to meet in a virtual world and conduct such an activity over multiple days with geographically disbursed colleagues interested in scenario planning around the same topic. With the advent of voice-over and 3D virtual worlds, it would be an interesting exercise to see what insights could be gained without the cost of expensive technological equipment and travel costs.


•August 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Storytelling is such a powerful learning tool! Think what you learned in your youth from simple “morals” of the story. As we matured, our understanding about the world grew and so did our comprehension of complex story lines.

Scenario Planning involves the process of fleshing out and ranking the internal and external driving forces of an organization  as well as identifying predetermined events.  Scenarios storylines or “scenarios” embed these complex elements into a format that the human mind can understand.

The technique of storytelling is employed in scenario planning for examining several possible futures oftentimes challenging the mental models of organizational leadership.  Pierre Wack, a scenario planning pioneer, related the importance of effective scenario planning such that “managers would question their own model of reality and change it when necessary, as as to come up with strategic insights beyond their minds’ previous reach” (Wack, 1985, “Scenarios: Uncharted Waters”, Harvard Business Review, p. 84).

Further, Kees van der Heijden (1996) remarked that scenarios actually display data about the future across multiple stories and this concept of using multiple story lines for learning is very useful because:

  • It reflects the uncertainty inherent in the future
  • It allows a multidisciplinary approach to developing and discussing theories about the world
  • It presents findings in a tangible real-world context, illustrating theory rather than espousing it
  • It uses a causal mode of thinking, which is intuitively comfortable” (p. 118)

In such a turbulent environment as the current one, scenario planning may make the difference between the viability or peril for an organization–if it causes the  leadership to see beyond the current reality.

Laura McGrath was a participant with me in the Shambhala Leadership Institute in May, 2008. Our insightful scenario planner was Art Kleiner (see who led  our group through a condensed version of scenario planning as we contemplated the future of leadership.

Laura did a really great job of summarizing the process for us. Here is a link to the process:

and her post about how she used storytelling in a recent workshop:

Wall Street Journal: Pendulum Swinging Back on Scenario Planning

•July 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I read a recent post on the Wall Street Journal site where they acknowledge that Scenario Planning is a very useful tool for organizations in these turbulent times:

Scenario-Based Leadership

•June 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

This blog is a continuation of a 3-year journey on researching the intersection of scenario planning and the development of leadership capability and capacity. I hope you will come with me on my journey!

Our Presentation at Oxford, June 2007

•June 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment