Scenarios are the basic tool for any serious strategic planning effort. If your organization does trend analysis and/or collects expert forecasts, then these can be used to form different visions of the future known as scenarios.
At Competitive Futures, when creating strategic scenarios for clients, we recommend a minimum of four scenarios based on the uncertainties identified for that client. In our experience, one scenario becomes the Official Future, two scenarios create a false binary, three scenarios seduces executives into false moderation by choosing the “middle” scenario, and four or more scenarios makes leaders really think through the implications of what’s next.
There is another tool we use to organize these various scenarios: the Impact Probability Matrix.
Low Impact, High Probability
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