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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.Albert Einstein

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Capitalize on uncertainty

Capitalize on uncertainty

How to use scenario planning to build a strategy able to cope with uncertainty?


Uncertainty is an integral part of business today. The fast pace of technological progress, the rise and fall of the Internet bubble, the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and corporate scandals such as Enron all illustrate the highly unstable environment to which companies must try to adapt.

Many managers admit that they are daunted by the task of building a strategy that takes account of uncertainty. Traditional decision-making support tools reach their limits in such an unpredictable environment.

A researcher and internationally recognized consultant for his work on scenario planning, the author of “Profiting from Uncertainty” shows managers how to use this method to avert common traps and capitalize on the inherent opportunities of uncertainty. In particular, we felt the three following messages to be particularly relevant:

– Use scenarios to expand your vision of possible futures, rather than to predict the future.

– Place scenarios at the heart of strategic thinking. These scenarios can be extremely helpful in identifying needed skills and validating the strategic vision.

– Rely on scenarios to incite employees to keep an eye out for emerging trends in the company environment.

Synopsis n.120a