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Being able to anticipate and shape the future is the goal of every leader. "Fortune favors the prepared mind," wisely advised Louis Pasteur more than 100 years ago. So, how well do modern institutions prepare? In recent decades, leaders have often been caught unaware by momentous events-oil shortages and gluts, the collapse of the Soviet empire, and technology that quickly transformed whole industries. The age-old question is, how can organizations learn to anticipate and find opportunity in such sudden crises? The future will always be unpredictable, but with the right techniques it can be imagined and managed. Leading companies and governmental units have learned a way to think smarter about the future. The authors of Learning from the Future reveal how these innovative organizations harness imagination and strategic management techniques to create scenarios that simulate future opportunities and threats. Using these scenarios to test current decisions and get a jump start on building new capabilities for the future is a rich learning experience. This book makes preparing for unpredictable futures a practical part of every manager's job. It shows how scenario learning readies companies for industry and market evolutions and customers' new needs. Scenario learning envisions how industry segments may gain or lose profit potential, how certain technologies could dominate a market or fail to be accepted, how new trends could propel mass markets, what circumstances could derail a merger. This new foresight methodology is a critical source of business advantage. To help readers construct truly useful scenarios and learn from them, this book offers the latest insights of 25 internationally known scenario developers. Their case studies explore rapid technology innovation, regulatory destabilization, actions by new or traditional competitors, and investment opportunities. The authors' previous book, The Portable MBA in Strategy, brought you the brightest and best ideas for winning in the marketplace of today and tomorrow. Now, by combining these proven methods of strategic management with scenario thinking, Liam Fahey and Robert M. Randall take you on a fast forward expedition-Learning from the Future.
Partial table of contents:
INTRODUCTION TO SCENARIO LEARNING.
Integrating Strategy and Scenarios (L. Fahey & R. Randall).
Using Scenarios to Identify, Analyze, and Manage Uncertainty (B. Marsh).
BASIC APPROACHES TO CONSTRUCTING SCENARIOS.
Scenario Planning: Mapping the Paths to the Desired Future (D. Mason).
Testing Your Strategies in Scenarios (C. Perrottet).
Scenarios for Global Investment Strategy for the New Century (P. Schwartz & J. Ogilvy).
SCENARIO APPLICATION IN DIVERSE CONTEXTS.
Competitor Scenarios: Projecting a Rival's Marketplace Strategy (L. Fahey).
MANAGING THE ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT FOR SCENARIO LEARNING.
Articulating the Business Idea: The Key to Relevant Scenarios (K. van der Heijden).
The Cross-Scenario Planning Process (D. Randall & R. Wilson).
About the Author.