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Making Innovation Happen

A Global Aggregation of Leading Edge Articles on Management Innovation, Creative Leadership, Creativity and Innovation.  

This is the official blog of Ralph Kerle, Chairman, the Creative Leadership Forum. The views expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the International or National Advisory Board members. ______________________________________________________________________________________


Entries in Scenario PLanning (2)


2021: The New Europe - Niall Ferguson, Economic Historian

'Life is still far from easy in the peripheral states of the United States of Europe (as the euro zone is now known).' Welcome to Europe, 2021. Ten years have elapsed since the great crisis of 2010-11, which claimed the scalps of no fewer than 10 governments, including Spain and France. Some things have stayed the same, but a lot has changed. The euro is still circulating, though banknotes are now seldom seen. (Indeed, the ease of electronic payments now makes some people wonder why creating a single European currency ever seemed worth the effort.) But Brussels has been abandoned as Europe's political headquarters. Vienna has been a great success.

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The Emergence of Scenario Learning instead of Planning 

As protests in Iran last month drew the world's attention, the top executives at a large global industrial goods company held a teleconference to consider their options. The meeting was hastily called, but the participants were not starting from scratch. In fact, the events unfolding in the country were strikingly similar to a scenario that they had developed, along with a handful others, in a 2008 offsite meeting focused on potential changes in their competitive environment. The workshop, the output, and the eventual impact on decision making represents a perfect illustration of how so-called scenario planning techniques can be utilized to help managers navigate in complex and uncertain environments. In the meeting the industrial company held last year, executives had discussed each scenario they developed, the potential triggers for each of them, and how the company should respond to each of these situations if it were to arise. Pulling out the notes from these discussions, they already knew their options and had a view on how they would like to respond. In many ways, they were prepared -- and already one step ahead of some other companies. Paul J. H. Schoemaker, research director of the Wharton School's Mack Center for Technological Innovation, says such examples illustrate a continuing shift in how companies think about the future.

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