Real Time Strategy

When Strategic Foresight Meets Artificial Intelligence

The book Real Time Strategy by Monitor Deloitte strategists and Center for the Long View scenario practitioners Andreas Schühly, Frank Becker, and Florian Klein presents the decision making of the future. By combining classical scenario thinking methodology with the analytical power of big data and artificial intelligence, the Real Time Strategy approach enables decision makers to develop dynamic strategies, monitor their validity, and react faster.

Today’s world is full of volatility, complexity, fake news, and too little time to make sense of all the information that is at our fingertips. We are drowning in data, surrounded by uncertainty, and thus live in a world that lacks clarity. Adding up to the lack of clarity is the static thinking of many strategists.. Decision makers struggle in such an environment to make the right long-term decisions. Real Time Strategy  is helping to overcome this. Scenario thinking is a way to plan in times of uncertainty. Despite its relevance, this methodology has received rarely an update. Now, Real Time Strategy is taking a quantum leap. The power of A.I., in combination with the best possible judgment of experts, will lead to the development of dynamic strategies that are clear, actionable, robust, and future proof.

The book Real Time Strategy shows the new frontiers of scenario thinking. While scenario planning used to be a tool for selected experts, today, technology enables us to put the process on steroids. Hybrid decision platforms combine human intuition with Artificial Intelligence so that conventional strategic planning merges with digital capabilities:

  • We are able to capture the drivers of tomorrow using (social) media sensing and analyzing big data to measure what is going on in the world around us. 
  • We are able to tell scenario narratives differently since the rise of online videos and social media. 
  • The use of technology speeds up the traditional analysis and reflection process of scenario planning and bring in A.I. to spot patterns. 
  • Technology enables us all to change the way we take decisions and empowers humans to contribute what we do best: provide expertise and intuition.


The Core Principles of Real Time Strategy

The book helps to transform readers’ into super strategists, by following three ideals of good strategies

A super strategist combines scenario planning‘s gentle art of perception with the raw analytical power of AI.

Real Time Strategy helps the reader to embrace the uncertainty in the environment and focus on the most relevant developments to define future pictures of plausible endstates. These endstates can be used to derive strategies and actions to win in the future; regardless, of what this future may look like. Scenarios enable us to think from different, diverse perspectives to understand which capabilities might help to win, which technologies will become necessary, or how alliances and M&A can help to succeed.

To make scenario planning dynamic and help decision makers to buoy up in a tsunami of facts, figures, fake news, and individual opinions, AI is the way to go. This is what we call "real time strategy": Scenario planning, supported by artificial intelligence. As powerful tool, Real Time Strategy can help decision makers to map, monitor, and navigate uncertainty with confidence. 


With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing a new uncertainty like never before. In times of such extreme uncertainty, we can simply no longer rely on previous empirical models but must reposition ourselves. This is creating the perfect storm for decision makers. Real Time Strategy, in the form of scenario planning supported by artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can help decision makers to map, monitor, and navigate uncertainty. Scenario planning is the ideal answer to these challenges, as it does not negate but explicitly includes uncertainty. However, traditional scenario planning can only be the beginning.

We have to check every day which scenario we are running into because also the rules can change every day. This is where AI makes the Real-Time Strategist a winner as an objective, continuous measurement is essential. Such an AI-based measurement can evaluate millions of data points every day and give decision makers the decisive indication of which scenario is actually developing - and above all, why. Whoever holds this information in his hands first can make strategic decisions before anyone else and navigate safely through uncertain times.

Real Time strategists can act and react in times of crisis faster and more effectively. But they also keep an eye on long-term developments so that they can make strategic decisions every day despite high uncertainty.

Praise for Real Time Strategy : 

Tired of the hype around AI but wondering how it and Big Data can help you make more robust long-range decisions for your organization amidst steadily increasing uncertainty, volatility and ambiguity? Then this book is for you. Schühly, Becker and Klein are seasoned advisers and practitioners at the cutting edge of strategy and scenario craft. They are now literally taking the art and science of foresight itself into the future by explaining how the human strategist´s creativity and judgment can be augmented and improved through intelligent data-driven pattern recognition and insights.

Olaf J. Groth, PH.D., CEO and Cambrian Designs Inc., Professional Faculty at UC Berkeley´s Haas School of Business Professor of Practice at Hult International Business School, and Co-Author of Solomon´s Code: Humanity in a World of Thinking Machines. 


The book „Real Time Strategy: When Strategic Foresight Meets Artificial Intelligence” (ISBN: 1787568121) can be found in the Emerald shop, on Amazon, or you can order it at your local bookstore.