Scenario Planning Workshops

Scenario planning is not about predicting the future.
It is about exploring the future

The trouble with the future is that you don't know what it is going to be until it arrives. By then it can be too late to plan for it.

 

Scenario planning is not about predicting the future. It is about exploring the future. If you are aware of what could happen, you are better able to prepare for what will happen.

 

Scenario planning exercises involve identifying trends and exploring the implications of projecting them forward – probably as high, medium and low forecasts. These can include political, economic, social and technological. As different trends are chosen and different combinations of forecast levels are combined, a whole spectrum of possibilities can be identified.

 

Well known examples include the end of the Berlin Wall, OPEC oil price rises, bombs and terrorist attacks. Asking the great “What if?” Identifying risk.

 

Carrying out regular scenario planning exercises does not necessarily mean that you will be prepared for an eventuality, but it does mean that you are more likely to be aware of the possibility and, thus, able to act very rapidly if a situation develops.

 

It is human nature to resist change. The human mind does not easily recognise information it does not understand, or expect. Information is filtered before it is processed. So, in addition to encouraging a pre-run of options, these scenario planning exercises will also sensitise players to critical information that they might otherwise not have noticed.

Scenario planning exercise

A scenario planning exercise can involve major data collection and analysis, together with sophisticated computer modelling. That's for specialist teams.

 

However, they can be as long or short as appropriate; we have run exercises lasting two hours, three days all the way through to a major exercise involving a series of specialist workshops over a period of six months. As a management tool, scenario planning exercises involve letting go of preconceived ideas and expectations, being imaginative – group 'dreaming'. Lots of flip charts, sticky notes, marketing information – and an expert facilitator to manage the process!

 

There are many 'soft' tools, including brain storming, PEST analysis, study of past technological changes, analysis of historical discontinuities and moments of change, systems analysis and searching for the "unintended consequence".

 

Brefi Group has developed a simple, quick and powerful model based on The Mind of a Fox.

What do you get?

Brefi Group organises and facilitates group meetings, away days, workshops and conferences internationally. We have worked in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, often in exciting locations.

 

Our customer-designed packages include: -

  • Venue search, negotiation and booking
  • Pre-briefing and agreement of outcomes
  • Design and approval of the programme
  • Organisation and administration
  • Preparation of materials
  • Management and facilitation of main event
  • Provision of keynote speakers, where required
  • Workshops and breakout sessions
  • Review, action planning and follow-up commitments
  • Photographs and visual record
  • Meeting report

We ensure that each event is structured to achieve a previously agreed outcome, but is flexible and responsive enough to deal with whatever arises, whether it be a business issue or inter-personal. We produce lots of flip chart sheets!

 

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Feedback

We like to evaluate and collect feedback. Here are some answers we have received after a scenario planning workshop.

  1. What was your overall impression of this workshop?
    Very informative and useful. I have already had discussions with two of my sponsors regarding scenario planning.
    The workshop was a valuable experience for us. We were exposed to a new way of approaching problems and thinking strategically, and having an experienced scenario planning facilitator helped us move forward very effectively in a short period of time. The workshop also exposed some skills that we collectively need to consider improving in our organisation, which was a valuable result.

     
  2. What was your overall impression of the facilitator?
    Nothing but GOOD things to say about him. Organised, efficient, very good at keeping the diverse set of participants on track. 

     
  3. Throughout a very intense and demanding two days, Richard's poise and sense of humour kept the process moving forward and made it actually an enjoyable experience.
     
  4. Which parts of the workshop did you find most valuable and why?
    The read ahead books have been very useful in helping me to understand scenario planning. The actual part of the workshop that I found most valuable was when we were asked to brainstorm what a system would look like in the future.

     
  5. Which parts did you find least valuable and why?
    I felt that the entire two days were valuable. I would not classify any part as "least valuable".

     
  6. How successful was the workshop in terms of learning about the scenario planning process?
    VERY helpful in making the process clear to me.

  7. How successful was the workshop in terms of achieving new understanding of possible developments and constraints over the next 10+ years?
    Again, VERY successful.

     
  8. Should you use scenario planning again – YES/NO?
    Yes,


    What are the one or two most interesting or useful ideas for you from the workshop?
  9. The need to "think outside the box" when looking at what the future should be.

What to do next

If you would  like to know more about how we can support your personal development as a director, facilitate an away day or corporate retreat, or assist with your board's corporate governance, contact us or call +44 (0) 7970 891 343.

Contact Us

brefi@brefigroup.co.uk

+44 (0) 7970 891 343

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