Scenario Planning - A Powerful Foresight Technique
4.3 (90 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
286 students enrolled

Scenario Planning - A Powerful Foresight Technique

Master this vital aspect of strategy: Visualizing how your future "business landscape" will change
4.3 (90 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
286 students enrolled
Created by Woody Wade
Last updated 8/2019
Price: $79.99
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • How to visualize alternative ways your future could realistically turn out
  • How to think like a far-sighted decision maker
  • How to avoid unrealistic expectations based on linear thinking
  • How to see the big picture for your organization – and understand how it could change
  • How to identify the critical uncertainties that will shape the future of a business, country, or industry
  • How to generate a portfolio of contrasting but plausible future "landscapes", for any organization
  • How to develop ideas and strategic initiatives that would be successful in each future scenario
  • Marketing and finance know-how is helpful but not necessary

The future is going to be different. We all know that, right? But how is it going to be different? That's the key question you face in business, because you have to make decisions and strategic plans today for a future that is unknowable - but very definitely changing. Scenario planning is a creative, very practical technique to foresee (and better: understand) how your future business environment could evolve - and in different directions. Scenario planning is thus about exploring alternative futures that can realistically emerge.  Its practical value is that, by helping you foresee different ways your particular market or business terrain could change, you'll make better long-term plans today.  Based on my best-selling book on this fascinating approach to thinking about future change, my 2-hour Udemy "crash course" walks you through the process of generating future scenarios - a process which is structured, logical - and yet very imaginative. Join me for an eye-opening learning experience!

Who this course is for:
  • Students of business or economics
  • Strategy or planning professionals
  • Marketing professionals
  • Entrepreneurs, especially founders or investors in start-ups
  • Anyone with responsibility for the future success of an organization of any kind
Course content
Expand all 6 lectures 01:53:18
+ Introducing the course, instructor, & the rationale behind scenario thinking
2 lectures 37:25

Welcome to this course on scenario planning, a methodology for exploring future change. In this introductory module, in addition to learning about the course objectives and a few things about your instructor, Woody Wade, we'll briefly discuss the nature of change, and why it's so important in business to continuously scan the horizon so you will be alert to the different kinds of changes that are always happening all around you - some of which might have a significant impact on your future success.

Preview 15:40

In business, people do of course think about the future when they are developing plans and strategies. But often, the way they think about future change is too simplistic - and risky.  In this lesson, we will explore this erroneous approach, and why it can be misleading. Then we will look at the way the future actually does unfold, and how taking a different conceptual approach - i.e. scenario planning - naturally leads to a realization that, at any given moment, there is not "one" future - but several alternative futures.

How managers think about change (vs. how change really happens)
+ The scenario generation process
3 lectures 01:04:26

In the scenario generation methodology this course is teaching you, the first step is to identify as many so-called "driving forces" as possible, i.e. trends or developments that will probably have some influence on the way your future landscape emerges. Then, because it's not practical to wrestle with so many different factors, you will learn how to narrow this list of driving forces down to the most critical uncertainties that will be challenging you over the next few years.

Driving forces and critical uncertainties

The next steps in the scenario generation process are derived from the choice of critical uncertainties. These help you build a framework of alternative future landscapes, or scenarios - despite their highly contrasting profiles, they are all plausible.  Next, you describe these scenarios in terms of the key attributes relevant to your business, and finally give each of the scenarios a memorable name.

Defining, describing, and naming the scenarios

By this point in the process, you have an understanding of how the scenarios you've defined differ from each other, and what would be their "look and feel" as business environments in which you may find yourself operating.  What now? The next step - where the rubber meets the road - is to identify the opportunities and challenges that each scenario would present, and work out a basic action plan that would improve your chances of success in each of the futures you've postulated.

Key issues and strategic responses
+ Wrap-up
1 lecture 11:27

Before recapping the process, we should talk about one other strength of scenario planning: putting this technique to work is the sign of a good leader.

Scenario planning: A leadership tool