Scenario Planning Handbook: Developing Strategies in Uncertain Times / Edition 1

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It's practical. It's easy-to-use. It works. SCENARIO PLANNING HANDBOOK: DEVELOPING STRATEGIES IN UNCERTAIN TIMES reveals the most effective stategy techniques available to help you, a decision-maker, plan for the future. And with this strategy textbook, you won't just get theory. You'll also get the most up-to-date data, analysis, and expert insights that show you how to succeed. Don't let uncertainty paralyze you or force a bad decision. Let SCENARIO PLANNING HANDBOOK: DEVELOPING STRATEGIES IN UNCERTAIN TIMES guide you using the decision-making practices that are proven to work.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780324312850
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 6/9/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 402,647
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Wilson is Principal of Wolf Enterprises in San Rafael, CA, where he consults with senior management teams on projects involving strategic management, strategic vision, and scenario planning.

Bill Ralston has led more than 50 scenario-planning projects for companies around the world. He is a vice president and board member of SRI Consulting Business Intelligence, and president of PGO Consulting.

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Table of Contents

Part 1: THE NATURE AND USES OF SCENARIOS. Chapter 1: Why Bother? The extent of uncertainty-and the dilemma it poses: focus or flexibility? The need for foresight-but the dangers of (single-point) forecasting. Scenarios as an escape from the dilemma-what they are, and are not. The benefits of scenario-based planning and action. Part 2: INITIAL STEPS. Chapter 2: Preparing the Way. Assessing the current planning culture. Understanding scenarios: what they are-what they require how they can be used. Designing the effort and approach to fit the need (e.g., the decision(s) to be supported; the information and resources needed; time available; etc.. Defining realistic expectations. Getting top management's support. Chapter 3: Getting Started. Assigning responsibilities. Forming the scenario team. Using consultants? Determining the initial focus/use for the scenarios. Defining the scope and time horizon. Chapter 4: Laying the Foundation. Identifying the "key decision factors" (i.e., "What we need to know about the future in order to make the decision"). Identifying and assessing the range of macro- and micro-forces that will shape the dynamics of the future environment. Identifying and assessing the critical uncertainties. Part 3: DEVELOPING AND USING SCENARIOS. Chapter 5: Building the Scenarios. How many scenarios should you create? Structuring the scenarios (the use of "scenario logics"). "Telling the stories" (the importance of "the plot"). Assigning graphic titles. The question of quantification. The issue of probabilities. Chapter 6: Implementation — From Scenarios to Strategy. Assessing opportunities and threats. Linking scenarios to other planning tools (e.g., value chain analysis). Testing current (or proposed) strategy. Developing-and assessing-strategy options. Contingency planning. Part 4: CONSEQUENCES OF SCENARIOS. Chapter 7: Leveraging the Scenarios. Communicating the results. Motivating action. Linking scenarios to scanning and monitoring (a "comprehensive environmental analysis system"). Chapter 8: Changing the Culture. Developing an educational program (to change behavior). Creating a learning organization. The critical importance of executive example.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Using scenarios as a comprehensive planning tool

    Herman Kahn, brilliant strategist and game theorist, is the godfather of scenario planning. (He partly inspired Dr. Strangelove, the creepy character played by Peter Sellers in the 1964 madcap movie of the same name.) During the 1950s and 1960s, Kahn used the intellectual tool of scenario planning to examine and write about the horrific consequences of thermonuclear war. Originally a national military strategizing tool, scenario planning crossed into the business world during the late 1960s. It does not predict the future. Rather, strategists use it to examine and plan for possible futures. Consultants and futurists Ian Wilson and William K. Ralston Jr. are bona fide scenario-planning experts, however, they could have explained more plainly exactly how companies should handle the complexities of carrying out the process. Some examples are unclear and the text sometimes becomes dense. Still, getAbstract finds that leaders and managers can benefit from this useful overview of the subject, particularly the structure of the 18-step plan for conducting a scenario-planning exercise.

    To learn more about this book, check out the following Web page:

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