The world’s seemingly relentless march toward overpopulation achieved a notable milestone in 2012: Somewhere on the planet, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the 7 billionth living person came into existence.
Matthew Jon Spaniol's insight:
The impacts of demographic changes are key to developing global scenarios.
Topping the Corporate Executive Board's priority list for chief audit executives in 2013 is contingency planning. Second on CEB's “top 10” list is strategy creation and execution. Volatility is becoming the new normal.
Effective corporate governance is more complex and challenging than ever. Companies need boards to help them meet regulatory compliance basics- but the most effective boards are those that easily check that box. Organizations are obviously better served by high-performing, fully actualized boards that deliver solid strategic counsel and direction. To win the future, an enterprise must attract directors who can provide valuable, strategic input, while building a board that can draw on the diversity of its members' expertise and backgrounds — across geographies, gender, race, and experience — to create a whole that's literally greater than the sum of its parts.
The story of a 16 year voyage that tracks the Columbia's progress through scenarios that culmunates in a political platform that finds inspiration and solutions in the most-desired scenario. How to change the future by Adam Kahane.
Trends & Scenario Group is led by Matthew Spaniol and is dedicated to helping leaders get the most out of their scenario planning activities. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Trends & Scenario group operates worldwide. For help getting the most out of your scenario planning activities or to learn more about getting started with strategic scenario planning, contact Matthew Spaniol at +45 5012 6444, write to matthew.spaniol (at) gmail.com or on Skype at Springer08
Back in 2011, complexity theorists hypothesized that if food prices followed their recent trends that unrest would be close behind. Low crop yields this year bring this scenario even closer than predicted.
Numerous analyses of the financial crisis showed executives overly focused on responding quickly to the competition, getting bogged down in the specifics of a deal, and failing to see beyond the immediate future. By giving managers the illusion of control, the rapid flow of information through new technologies threatens to rob them of real control. As demands pile up, managing can become more frenetic and superficial.
Could you have predicted the success of the web, tablets and smartphones, privatized space travel, the rise of terrorism, or the myriad of small changes that impact how you live today?
Forbes have gathered a group of visionaries, leaders, and big thinkers to a group of visionaries, leaders, and big thinkers to spot trends in their areas of discipline and give us insight into where we are heading.
There will be change – sometime dramatic change – in our future, and there is.....hope.
Corporate finance departments have come to rely on forecasting in previously unimagined ways.
Matthew Jon Spaniol's insight:
Don’t create overly complex forecasts: use scenario planning logics to delimit and target your foresight efforts. Before you start, the most important question to ask is, “what decisions are you going to make from this forecast?” Don’t intermingle black swan contingency planning (weather and asteroids) in with decision scenarios.
"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat," said Sun Tzu. When turbulent times put leaders and their plans to the test, anytime is the best time to engage in scenario planning.
A focus on crisis management planning eradicates obvious flaws and areas of vulnerability. Conducting scenario planning exercises identify areas of vulnerability which need to be addressed, early warning systems that need to be developed, skill deficiencies which need to be addressed and actions which need to be taken to reduce risk. Without training and planning, these flaws remain unidentified but lie dormant, carrying the ever-present threat of a damaging crisis.
Long-term planning is a skill best accomplished by conscious awareness of how the disproportionate sway of short-term gratification affects our allegedly rational decisions. No other species can conceptualize time or think about the future, or are capable of understanding or quantifying periods of time.
In the last century, sixty-nine countries have exited currency areas. Almost all of the exits from a currency union have been associated with low macroeconomic volatility while almost all economic analysts argued that dire consequences would follow for previous defaults and devaluations (Asia 1997, Russia 1998, Argentina 2002, and Iceland 2008). However, history shows that following defaults and devaluations, countries experienced two to four quarters of economic contraction, but then real GDP grew at a high, sustained pace for years.
Board members are chosen for their brainpower, and those brains need to be put to use. By using board time to confirm and expand assumptions and possible trajectories, the board will have the advantage of maximizing the opportunities and confronting the challenges of the future before they emerge. Finally, they will feel appreciated when their anticipations are heard, their time is used wisely, and their brainpower is flexed.
In his blog post, Criticisms of scenario planning as undertaken by law departments, Rees Morrison Esq. has put forth 8 considerations regarding the effectiveness of scenario planning. See the comments to the criticism in this post.
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