Professional Development

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Scenario Planning for an Uncertain Future

Call for more information

9 am - 4 pm; 6 PDU; Baldwin Wallace, Berea


As the pace of change continues to accelerate and the ability to anticipate future events becomes more difficult, scenario planning is an extremely important tool for individuals and organizations. The ability to forecast the future has a limited time horizon of three years. Scenario planning allows for an extended planning horizon (10 + years) to be used while identifying possible futures that may unfold. Additionally, scenario planning allows for the identification of key uncertainties and critical contingencies that may be impacted as scenarios unfold.

This process can provide strategic managers the foresight to recognize, prepare for and adapt to future events before realized. It can also be used to possibly influence forces and dynamics associated with a scenario before they occur.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discern the difference between scenario planning and strategic planning
  • Acquire the tools for creating scenarios
  • Evaluate scenario impact on plausible futures
  • Know when and where to use scenario planning as an adjunct to the strategic planning process

Target AudienceManagers involved in strategic planning at middle and senior positions are strongly invited to attend. Groups from organizations with a particular future uncertainty are invited to participate as a team.

Course Outline:

  • Scenario Planning Overview
    • What is Scenario Planning
    • Basic Content: Four Quadrants, Uncertainties, and the Story

  • Scenario Planning and Strategic Management
    • Scenario planning is not strategic management 
    • Forecasting it is not

  • Review of scenario project
    • 3D printing in 2023
  • Working Session
    • Scenario topic identification
    • Defining key uncertainties
    • Team selection 
  • Report out of scenarios by teams 



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