Scenario Planning is introduced in The Art of the Long View by Peter Schwartz.
“The book in your hands presents the arts of “taking the long view” of decisions that need to be made today.”
This method is used for designing strategic conversations leading to continuous organizational learning about key decisions.
Furthermore, planning’s are a tool for helping us to take a long view in a world of great uncertainty – scenario planning is necessary since future is uncertain.
Prof. Iba explained the concepts with the familiar topic to students, which we postponed the school festival last year due to the storm. All performances were cancelled and stands were closed – it was miserable for everyone, students, teachers and guests.
He told the students his concern that the administrator could expect bad weather bothering us to implement our plan.
In the scenario planning, when we are able to expect the possibility of external factors and signs that prevent us from implementation, it helps us recognize and adapt to changing aspects of our present environment.
Today, the class was more engaging than usual. Students had an hour workshop experience scenario planning.
Approximately 60 students formed groups of 4 and began with self-introduction. They lively chatted about what they study and what kind of community they belong to and so on.
Prof Iba told the question,
“On your life, what kind of environmental factors might be happening beside your intention and actions?”
The objective of the question is to consider what kind of uncertainty we might encounter.
Second, students picked up 2 factors that they think critical or crucial for their lives or their plans in their future. Popular topics were environmental destructions, earthquakes, conflicts on nuclear power plants, and an aging society.
Third, students are assigned to draw four quadrants and plot those 2 factors.
Then, they come up with the scenarios on those 4 quadrants, and gave the names on each scenario.
Finally, they are assigned to think about preparations, strategies and warning signs.
Prof. Iba came up with the idea of this class from the experience on the school festival last year. Students’ faces lit up because they realize what they study in class are related to their lives.
At the end, he revealed his intention why scenario planning in Social System theory. Scenario planning encourages not only taking about strategies and leaning in organizations, but also bringing people from variety of areas and creating collaborations.
In addition, communication, the center element in Social Systems Theory, are generated by scenario planning, which taking about the future.
◆P. Schwartz, The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World, Crown Business, 1996