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Flashcards in Scenario building and alternate futures Deck (37):

When did scenario planning as a strategic tool start?

In the 19th century with Clausewitz and Moltke, who were the first to talk about strategic planning.
However modern scenario planning began after WW2.


Which two geographical centers were there for scenario planning and how did they differ?

The US, focusing on military strategies and France, focusing on guiding political and social planning.

Main difference in the beginning was that the US centre's focus was global, whereas France focused on the socio-political foundations of the future of France itself.


What is the US scenario planning school about?

It started at RAND, where game theory, computers for data processing and a need for war game simulation models inspired scenario planning.

Two 'approaches' was developed: The intuitive logics school (Shell), and the probabilistic modified trends school


What was the probabilistic modified trends school?

It combines trend-impact analysis (a forecasting method that relies on the extrapolation of historic data) and cross-impact analysis (similar to the first, but a bit more complex)


What was the French centre about?

It was a methodology for developing positive images (normative scenarios) of the future that could serve as a guideline for policy-makers - providing a basis for action.


When did scenario planning become widely used in Europe?

After the oil crisis in 1973. Suggests that the adoption of scenario planning came with the increased unpredictability of the corporate environment


Which kind of company most often used scenario planning in the beginning?

The big ones - might be that there where the only one with resources to experiment and need for new tools


What is the Bradfield text about?

He compares the different schools of scenario planning: Intuitive logic (Shell), la prospective (the French) and the probabilistic modified trend school


What is the aim of scenario planning a.t. Postma and Liebl?

To create alternative images of the future


Which three factors determine future developments a.t. Postma and Liebl?

Constants: structural factors that do not change (e.g. need for food)
Predetermined: changes that are largely predictable (e.g. demography)
Uncertainties: Outcomes that are known, but not when they arrive (e.g. economic growth)


Why is it important to categorize factors in scenario planning?

Because it is the uncertainties that makes scenarios different from each other. In doing scenarios one plays out an uncertainty in each scenario as if they had occurred.


What can scenario planning be used for?

It is well equipped to look at predetermins and uncertainties, but it leave the unknowns out of the discussion.
E.g. 9/11 and the war against terror could not be foreseen


How does Shoemaker divide knowledge?

1. Things we know we know

2. Things we know we do not know

3. Things we do not know we do not know.

Scenario planning is good to deal with the first two, but have problems transfering type 3 into type 2


Which three alternative scenario planning methods does Postma and Liebl suggest?

1. Recombinant scenarios: switching from scenario elements (drivers) to trends as the basic entities for scenario development.
2. context scenarios: introduce wild cards / unusual events
3. inconsistent scenarios: changing low probability/high inconsistency to high probability/consistency - the formerly ruled out scenarios are now possible, and can be included to formulate paradoxical complex trends


What is the purpose of De Goede's article?

To examine the relationship between the politics of risk and security practices, and how it has governing effects


What is premediation about?

Telling what will happen, instead of what has happened. E.g. the medias.


What is the common desire of risk assessment and premediation?

To imagine, harness and commodify the uncertain future.


What is the difference between risk assessment and premediation?

Premediation is not about forecasting, but about mapping as many possible futures imaginable.
Risk assessment and the logic of risk is about predicting the future.


Is premediation about predicting the future?

No it is about mapping the future. However some argue, that premediation is not about the future at all, but rather about enabling action in the present based on pictures of the future


What characterizes the discourse of new terrorism?

Its ‘universalistic ideology’, its ‘world wide network of operational and preparative cells’, and the ‘nature and scale of the violence it employs’

One of the cultural narratives of this discourse is the 'sleeper cell scenario'


What is Suskind's one percent doctrine?

That 99% certainty is not enough - preemtive action needs to be taken to secure the last uncertainty


What does it mean to stress test a company?

To imagine the unexpected and apparently unlikely events, and calculate their effects on a company’s portfolio.


What are stress testing, operational risk management and catastrophe insurance expressions of?

A bureaucratization and routinization of thinking the unthinkable


What does it mean to think the unthinkable a.t. de Goede?

That something is necessarily left out of sight when doing premediation. He stresses that this kind of scenarios is often based on events that have occurred in some form before.

Thinking the unthinkable can be criticized for depoliticizing something, because it becomes an excuse for not talking about it + it offers a fantasy of being able to control it


What is the economy of premediation?

The focus of premediation have resulted in a boom of new business practices (economy of desire?)
The problem with companies claiming to do risk management of e.g. terror is, that they turn suspicions and imaginations into actionable intelligence


How is premediation political a.t. de Goede?

Some futures/scenarios are visualized over other, and the specific scenarios enable and constrain political decision-making in the present.


What is scenario planning about a.t. Chermack?

Exploring a variety of outcomes, a variety of potential answers and using them to create awareness and readiness. The premise is that things are ever-changing.
It is a method for including the reality of uncertainties into the planning process


Which three schools for strategy does Chermack talk about?

1. Rationalist school: assumes that there is one best solution (most used)
2. The evolutionary school: due to complex nature of behavior, a winning strategy can only be formulated in retrospect
3. The processual school: suggests org as a living organism, where processes can be created to enable learning from mistakes

Effective scenario building incorporates all three


What is missing in existing scenario planning a.t. Chermack?

A presentation of the theoretical foundations, a clear guide for how to use scenarios, and a detailed guide for assessing the impact of scenario projects


How is scenario planning political?

It makes futures an actionable present, create an economy and delegate responsibility


What is a trend in scenarios?

Internal forces to the scenario that envoke change


What is a driver?

External forces that shape the environment in which the scenario playes out


What is an indicator?

Particular points in time when something changes, that one assumes will lead to something specific
Those are the things you monitor to allow prediction


What is discontinuities?

They signify radical shifts in the structure


Which three conditions are there for scenarios?

Consistency, causality and logic


How does scenarios allow us to go beyond risks?

We go beyond risks as calculable, when we imagine the worst possible future. Premediation goes beyond risks, because it allow us to act on unmaterialized risks (?)


What is the relationship between scenarios, risk and uncertainty?

Scenario planning is about addressing uncertainties, and uncertainties brings risks into existence.

A scenario analysis look at many potential risks, whereas a risk analysis would be more focused. However scenarios and risks are still connected, as scenarios seeks to discover risks related to a specific scenario.