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Corporate and institutional managers don’t get the full return on investment in scenarios that they should, nor do they employ scenarios on the full range of corporate…
Corporate and institutional managers don’t get the full return on investment in scenarios that they should, nor do they employ scenarios on the full range of corporate issues suited to this methodology. Most often, scenarios are used by top management to provide a better understanding of the range of possible business environments they must contend with in the future. But mid‐level managers often grumble that these big picture “strategic scenarios” don’t address the competitive issues and the critical decisions that they face in the trenches of their business. To achieve more consistently productive uses of scenarios, there are several major challenges that must be addressed for the future of the scenario method: resolve the confusion over the definitions and methods of scenarios; and clarify and enlarge the appropriate application of scenarios. Beyond the confusion caused by the different definitions and methods of scenarios lies the uncertainty about when and how to apply scenarios in the business environment. In addition to planning and forecasting, scenarios can be used for market research and new product development. A major debate revolves around whether or not scenarios have successfully developed into a tool for investment and company decision‐making. One view has been that scenarios provide context, but not direct inputs for such decisions (R&D priorities, new products, and financial investments). This approach emphasizes the role of scenarios in team building, information gathering, learning, and strategic thinking. It advocates using scenarios primarily as a tool for corporate learning and for changing corporate culture. Another view, however, holds that scenarios can and should be used for near‐term business decision‐making. Scenarios need to be applied to the numerous operational issues that companies face. As such, they are a key method of analysis, especially for highly uncertain circumstances.
Using alternative scenarios of possible future conditions, this utility has now developed contingency plans to meet long‐term demand in the most efficient and economical manner.
Here's another path of evolution open to corporate planning—transform your department into the business information and analysis (BIA) function.
This case recounts how an expert scenario consultant and a team of managers at a government agency used proprietary technology to define a set of alternate futures; it…
This case recounts how an expert scenario consultant and a team of managers at a government agency used proprietary technology to define a set of alternate futures; it describes how this scenario analysis provided a framework for understanding the existence of interlocking relationships – the logic model – among factors that determine desirable future outcomes.
As a tool for forecasting and strategic planning, Battelle employs a method called interactive future simulations (IFS) that uses expert judgment, trend analysis, and cross‐impact analysis for generating probabilistic alternative futures (scenarios). The tool has been used both for Battelle's own business strategy analysis and for fee‐for‐service projects for some 55 clients in North America, Europe, and Japan.
The logic model showed that, higher achievement depends primarily on only two clusters of descriptors: students receiving high quality instruction aligned with academic content standards and students having the right conditions and motivation for learning.
Having completed the first generation of the logic model through the exercise of cross‐impact analysis, the Ohio Department of Education project team will revisit the scenarios and give them increased attention. A revised logic model will be constructed in 2005.
This article introduces the logic model as a potentially valuable new strategic management tool.
Managers in for‐profit and nonprofit organization can get a rare inside look at the process and potential of scenario analysis and the development of a logic model.
The purpose of this article is to clarify the difference between futuring and visioning and to suggest how they may be better implemented as complementary approaches to…
The purpose of this article is to clarify the difference between futuring and visioning and to suggest how they may be better implemented as complementary approaches to strategic decision‐making.
A veteran of more than 80 scenario development projects, the author describes the tools required and the best practices for defining the mission, setting the goals, developing a vision, and making plans that move a business beyond the familiar of today to the uncertainties of tomorrow
Offers examples of companies that used futuring and visioning tools to prepare product scenarios that anticipated the future, unarticulated voice of the customer.
Guidance for leadership: Recognize the difference between futuring and visioning, and do both in a complementary way. Encourage, if not require, people to think about the future of both customers and products. Set up a futuring unit to prepare trend monitoring and scanning, trend analysis, build forecasting models, and prepare narrations on the future of the external business environment for the entire company. Set up a program whereby employees have opportunities to participate in visioning exercises, especially when the topic question involves visioning at their own operational levels. Use the products of futuring as a frame of reference for visioning exercises. Develop a vision for the company based upon wide participation and using both futuring and visioning. Consistently articulate the vision for both external and internal audiences.
The article provides guidance about the process of learning about the future so that organizations can routinely integrate futuring and visioning into a vision statement and strategic plans