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Why I love introducing scenario thinking to people

Scenario workshop flipchartScenario workshop flipchartScenario workshop flipchartScenario workshop flipchartScenario workshop flipchartAs a futurist, my favorite thing is to work with groups to develScenario workshop flipchartScenario workshop flipchartop scenarios. The technique is powerful and it’s not easy for people to comprehend and do. But the rewards are enormous.

The power of scenario building is in how it gets people to immerse themselves in the future. Working on scenarios leaves them no choice but to think both broadly and concretely about the future. Every group I’ve done this with over 20 years has exceeded my expectations and probably their own, as well. They come up with marvelous, provocative ideas, and important insights for their organizations. I’ve learned from being a part of each group, and I’ve seen the people I’ve worked with gain from the experience.

It is clear that once people have had the scenario-building experience, they have new ideas and places to go in their heads. They’ve got a much richer view of the future. They also have a new mental habit–to think about alternative futures, not accepting that there’s some inevitable future out there. They should, and usually do, have a sense of empowerment—that there are parts of their future they can shape, starting now.

So take this note as a call for more scenario building in organizations. This great experience should be shared by far more people. I am looking forward to my next chance to work with a group on scenarios.

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