Scenario Planning in Organizations: How to Create, Use, and Assess Scenarios

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9781605094137: Scenario Planning in Organizations: How to Create, Use, and Assess Scenarios
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Scenario planning helps organization leaders, executives and decision-makers envision and develop strategies for multiple possible futures instead of just one. It enables organizations to become resilient and agile, carefully calibrating their responses and adapting quickly to new circumstances in a fast-changing environment.

This book is the most comprehensive treatment to date of the scenario planning process. Unlike existing books it offers a thorough discussion of the evolution and theoretical foundations of scenario planning, examining its connections to learning theory, decision-making theory, mental model theory and more. Chermack emphasizes that scenario planning is far more than a simple set of steps to follow, as so many other practice-focused books do—he addresses the subtleties and complexities of planning. And, unique among scenario planning books, he deals not just with developing different scenarios but also with applying scenarios once they have been constructed, and assessing the impact of the scenario project.

Using a case study based on a real scenario project Chermack lays out a comprehensive five phase scenario planning system—project preparation, scenario exploration, scenario development, scenario implementation and project assessment. Each chapter describes specific techniques for gathering and analyzing relevant data with a particular emphasis on the use of workshops to encourage dialogue. He offers a scenario project worksheet to help readers structure and manage scenario projects as well as avoid common pitfalls, and a discussion, based in recent neurological findings, of how scenario planning helps people to overcome barriers to creative thinking.

“This book is about action and performance. Compelling and thoroughly researched, it offers every business executive a playbook for including uncertainty in the organizational change process and driving competitive advantage”.
-- Tim Reynolds, Vice President, Talent and Organization Effectiveness, Whirlpool Corporation

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About the Author:

Thomas J. Chermack is Assistant Professor in Organizational Performance and Change and Director of the Scenario Planning Institute at Colorado State University. He is also the founder and managing partner of Chermack Scenarios. He has facilitated scenario projects in companies such as Cargill, Saudi Aramco, General Mills, Motorola, and many others.

 

 

 

Review:

“All CEOs, university presidents, leaders of national nonprofits, and politicians face the same problem: coping with uncertainty. Scenario planning addresses this central problem. One cannot attend a planning session in any large organization without the topic of scenario planning arising. Professor Chermack puts the various approaches to scenario planning in a highly readable and useful context. For those of us who have used a variant of scenario planning for many years, there is much to learn in this approach. Professor Chermack is well on his way to becoming a major resource for this important planning tool.”
—Vance Opperman, President and CEO, Key Investment, Inc.; Audit Committee Chair, Thomson Reuters; and former President, West Publishing Company

“With extensive expertise, Tom Chermack spotlights scenario planning as a fundamental tool used by organizations to achieve long-term sustainability. This book helps me guide diverse management teams through strategic decision and problem-solving processes using a collaborative and forward-thinking approach.”
—Carla McCabe, Director of Human Resources, Technicolor

“Scenario planning has benefitted our entire organization by helping us understand a volatile environment and how to move forward. Scenarios have helped us think through options, create insights, and spark innovative ideas. Chermack’s approach held us accountable and emphasized creative thinking as well as assessing where and how the scenarios added value.”
—James Steven Beck, MBA, CPA, Vice President—Administration, Eltron Research & Development, Inc.

“Professor Chermack has made the mysterious process of scenario planning available in a format accessible for both leaders of large corporations and small business owners. Creating a common working language about the future is essential for the long-term success of any enterprise. Tom’s clear guidelines provide practical tools for organizations to create scenarios that will help them discover new ways of thinking, planning, and being.”
—Kim Cermak, President and COO, KDC Management, LLC

“Compelling and thoroughly researched, this book offers every business executive a playbook for including uncertainty in the organizational change process and driving competitive advantage.”
—Tim Reynolds, Vice President, Talent and Organizational Effectiveness, Whirlpool Corporation

“It has been forty years since we first started developing scenarios at Shell to help steer us into an unknown future. This is the fullest description I have seen of how the theory and use of scenarios have developed since.”
—Napier Collyns, cofounder, Global Business Network

“Chermack is well on his way to becoming a major resource for this important planning tool.”
—Vance Opperman, President and CEO, Key Investment, Inc., and Audit Committee Chair, Thomson Reuters

“With this book, scenario artists can learn to muster the analysis they need for credibility, and scenario academicians can get a sense of the artistry they will need.”  
—Art Kleiner, Editor-in-Chief, strategy+business

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