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Scenario planning

Get to grips with the turbulent environment
The external environment is becoming increasingly unpredictable. The traditional forms of forecasting and strategy development are therefore too rigid. Not the certainties, but precisely the uncertainties must be central. And how you respond to those uncertainties. That is the role of scenario planning.
scenario planning

Develop robust strategy for different scenarios

Scenario planning is a method in which you develop multiple plausible visions of the future. You will explore the development of core uncertainties and the opportunities and risks that this entails. Scenarios are extreme but conceivable stories of the future. Each scenario has specific opportunities and options. Options that fit in every scenario are robust and a good foundation for your strategy.

Scenarios are stories. They are works of art, rather than scientific analyzes. Maybe the reliability of their content is less important than the types of conversations and decisions they spark.
- Arie de Geus

What is scenario planning used for?

Strategy development

Which strategic options should I take up?

Validation of strategy

How future-proof is my strategy?

Risk management

What risks do I have to take into account?


How can I renew?

Organizational design

How can I organize my organization for the future?

Complex decision making

Should I invest or not? In which scenario should I scale up and in which scenario should I not?

What is and what is not scenario planning?

Scenarios are ...

Images of the future

Scenarios think through uncertainty.

External realities

You cannot influence scenarios, you have to take them into account.

Extreme images

Scenarios are the corners of the playing field, designed to stretch and challenge your current thinking.

Consistent and plausible 'stories'

Scenarios depict what the future will look like may not be see. They form the basis for strategy and innovation.

Scenarios are not ...

Predictions of the future

Reality will contain ingredients from multiple scenarios.

Choices for certain future directions

You do not choose one scenario. They can all become reality.

Sensitivity analyzes on a business case

Scenarios are not a variation on a forecast, but explore multiple uncertainties.

Visions or strategic plans

Scenarios describe the possible environment. In the vision and strategy you describe how to respond to this.

Scenario planning in 6 steps

Step 1: Determine scope

Determine the questions about the future, time horizon, boundaries and stakeholders that can influence the future.

Step 2: Collect trends

Make an inventory of trends in the environment.

Step 3: Analyze trends

Determine the impact and uncertainty of trends. Also determine the degree of coherence (cross-impact) between the trends. The aim is to arrive at critical uncertainties.

Step 4: Draw up scenarios

Determine the axes and elaborate the possible scenarios into vivid future images.

Step 5: Determine strategic options

Determine the opportunities and risks in the scenarios. And generate new strategic options. Score the relevance of the options per scenario. And consider how future-proof your current strategy is.

Step 6: Monitor developments

Keep an eye on the development of the scenarios with a environmental monitorso that you can make timely adjustments.

Online tool: Social Scenario Planning

Create future scenarios online with all stakeholders

  • Exploring the future together
  • Better results due to richer input
  • Greater support for the result
  • Shorter lead time

Online tool: Environment monitor

Monitor trends and scenarios

  • Insight into the impact and urgency of trends
  • Insight into the probability of scenarios
  • Insight into the relevance of strategic options
  • Conduct a strategic dialogue online

The world is changing. What do you do?

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