In a world marked by rapid change - in legislation, competition, the competitive environment, technology, and the very boundaries of the market - in which almost everything is being questioned, it is not enough to have been successful in the past to ensure success in the future. In this context, the development and use of scenario tools is particularly useful, allowing hypotheses to be generated and solutions to be simulated.
Although the growing use of and demand for Scenario Planning and Thinking processes was already happening before, COVID-19 has accelerated the perception of change and latent disruption. By the way they are constructed and used in strategy, innovation, and decision-making processes, Scenarios "invite" organizations to consider different, plausible, and relevant futures in their decision-making in the present. In this way, they make it possible to simulate futures, to perceive risks and opportunities in different futures, and how the strategic options of the present can be adapted to achieve the desired results.
A process for developing and using Scenarios must always have four characteristics:
1) Clear objectives - projects can aim to be "just" exploratory, focused on sensitivity to change and objectives essentially linked to organizational learning and strategic sensitivity; or they can be more decision-oriented, finding a way to generate, structure, and anchor a set of present decisions or initiatives in one or more images of the future. Different objectives imply very different types of projects, including different methodologies, participation and monitoring processes.
2) Solid methodology - it's not enough to get a bunch of smart people who know the subject around a table. In order for them to reflect, decide and work together, they need a shared language to underpin the process. A proven method (with results demonstrated in the literature) not only provides this language, but also allows the process to be broken down into a series of key steps leading to strategic definition and decision-making.
3) Relevant knowledge about the focus of the process (contextual and transactional) - processes are worthless if we don't have knowledge about the challenge and the focus we are addressing. It is essential to involve knowledgeable people who are open to different perspectives. It is necessary to mobilize not only specialized knowledge but also more general and integrative knowledge, exploit future-oriented information, reports, etc.
4) Involvement of key decision-makers - it is essential to involve "key people" in the organization in the process. These are the people who not only provide the necessary resources and validate the final decisions but also, and above all, whose alignment will be central to action
At Nova SBE, we have created a program that meets this need and is now in its fifth edition. In the program Scenarios & Business Strategy, we go beyond theory and experimentation: we create a real community that approaches the construction of scenarios and images of the future in an integrated way. In fact, in addition to a complete simulation of a scenario-building project (from defining the focus to the action/strategy), we organize talks with guests and activities related to the future and include the campus itself in the experience