Solutions

Scenario Design - Our Approach

Our approach to the scenario design process is characterized by a unique combination of proven scenario techniques and efficiency-enhancing innovations.

“Scenarios deal with two worlds: the world of facts and the world of perceptions. They explore for facts but they aim at perceptions inside the heads of decision-makers. Their purpose is to gather information of strategic significance and transform it into fresh perceptions."

Pierre Wack,
“Scenarios: The Gentle Art of Reperceiving”

"Outside-In" approach

Contextual environment

  • Social change
  • Technological progress
  • Economic shifts
  • Environmental trends
  • Political developments

Transactional environment

  • Sector dynamics
  • Customer expectations
  • Competitors' actions
  • Stakeholder needs

Organizational environment

  • Products and services
  • Business operations
  • Assets
  • Costs
  • Brands

Effective scenario design is holistic and considers all relevant factors of influence.

Step by step

Orientate

In this phase the central question that should be answered with the help of scenario design is laid down. In addition, all higher-level questions are identified, which must be answered first in order to create a comprehensive information base.

Discover

Once the information base has been created, all future drivers can be recorded and structured. Thanks to a tried-and-tested scenario technique, future drivers are also typically identified that nobody has ever thought of before. Here it is important to break with known patterns of thought so that nothing stands in the way of creative ideas – along the lines of "you can only learn what you didn’t know before ".

Recognize

As the future is uncertain and confusing, in this phase the focus is on the formation of clear and structured future scenarios with the help of a framework. The future scenarios allow an understanding of potential developments in relation to the world, the sector, up to and including the company’s central problem.

Act

The task in the next step is to fill the scenarios with life and to develop action options. For this purpose, one places oneself in each scenario and asks what it would mean in concrete terms for the company to operate in this scenario. Typical key questions are: what is the industrial environment like, what expectations do the stakeholders have of the company, and what new skills are needed? Finally, promising action options are developed for each scenario. In the best case, also such action options which are promising regardless of which scenario eventuates.

Monitor

It is not only important to develop possible future scenarios, but also to have the appropriate options for action in the drawer. Constant monitoring of the company environment in order to recognize in good time which scenario is occurring is just as central. To this end, a large number of indicators are established which allow the actual development towards a certain scenario to be identified as early as possible, in order to be able to react with the right strategy.

Success Factors

  1. Start with a sprint
  2. Get top management on board
  3. Plan ahead – the logistics of a scenario workshop are complex
  4. Don’t confuse scenario design with predictions
  5. Try to understand scenario design as an art – a good result needs good methods and techniques, but also intuition and the will to discover something new

Your Contact

Dr. Florian Klein

Dr. Florian Klein

Director, Head of the Center for the Long View

Dr. Florian Klein is an advisor, corporate strategist and futures thinker with extensive experience in providing strategic counsel to senior decision makers at leading multi-national corporations and ... Mehr