Scenario Planning is a brainstorming process that can be integral to forecasting and innovation. Long-term or horizon plan­­ning would often include some form of scenario planning. Some scenarios that are prudent to plan for are in areas that not sustainable. Since the business-as-usual must change, and may change radically and rapidly.

Scenario Views of Future

Scenario Views of Future

Scenario planning was developed by Shell Oil back in the Cold War era, and has been very successfully utilized to strengthen strategic plans and to offer agile contingency plans based around “triggers” to indicate a scenario is likely happening (see figure). In the wise words of Dorothy, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”


  • provides a robust way of looking at alternate futures, besides “official view”
  • offers insight into business plans and contingencies plans
  • helps to refocus attention onto what is important in the future, not short-term
  • looks at non-sustainable practices and envisions various outcome
  • “visualizes” viable story lines so they offer others the experience


  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is essentially being a good corporate citizen and reporting CSR progress.
  • Everyone (and investors) wonder why bubbles catch a firm by surprise?
  • Due diligence requires a reasonable level of planning for various futures.