Vital as they are, strategic plans have one inherent flaw due to their very design. Strategic plans plans typically envision the future as a straight-line projection of the present. They don’t make allowances for wholesale disruptions brought on by forces outside of our control.
Yet, 2020 presented us with one disruption after another. No one's strategic plan could have anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic or the consequences which flowed from it. By mid-summer of 2020, most companies were working completely outside of the strategic plan with which they began the year.
So, is there a way to plan for the future in a way which allows for unforeseen disruptions which push our strategic plan aside? And the answer is, "Yes." We do it by supplementing strategic planning with scenario planning.
Scenario planning fundamentally answers the question, "How should we respond if horrendous development X were to happen?" This episode offers an overview of scenario planning and identifies six potential disruptions which every business is well-advised to address with thoughtful scenario planning.