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14 December 2004

Comments

Colin Strutt

You write:
"What's lost [in scenarios] is the art of coherent story-making to envision, construct and prepare for truly orthogonal futures, and the systems thinking to act on contingencies as probabilities shift. Successful executives think this way unconsciously. Groups of executives seldom do it well together."

Why do "groups of executives" seldom do it together well? There are (at least) two reasons that come to mind:
1) each executive has a different set of assumptions, rarely articulated, let alone shared, under which they operate
2) executives rarely do much (of strategic importance) together, prefering (perhaps) to keep control of their own organization's strategy to maximize their organization's (and hence their own perceived) performance.

What is needed is the opportunity for executives to meet together (we have used such methods in a workshop format) to develop scenarios (i.e., stories) about potential futures as a means for sharing assumptions and collaborative decision-making towards a common goal and learning *how* to think about the future.

Of course, prediction markets such as Art describes, are one means to provide indicators as to which future (or scenario) may be occuring.

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