Important skills for generating effective scenarios

I like Oliver’s idea about needing to be able to assimilate and synthesize. You don’t need to have all the ideas yourself….in fact it’s better not to! But you do need to be able to pull everything together. I was blown away when he mentioned they might sometimes have 400-500 key influences that then get bundled together. This made me realize just how important the above characteristics are. It also made me reflect on senior secondary schooling – how we say we want to teach higher order thinking skills, but do we really do it? Or are we forced to pay lip service to it and then teach to the largely content-based assessments? A cynics view I’m sure, but it is early in the morning!  

Open minded – this is essential. You have to be open to future scenarios that may be far outside your own realm of thinking or comfort. To be able to accept, discuss and imagine yourself in this future requires an open mind. Tied to this, being prepared to listen to the viewpoints of people outside the ‘usual’ area requires an open mind.  I think it’s relevant for everyone involved, but it may be particularly relevant for people high up the food chain and new to the process of SP or those who are very stuck in their ways and resistant to change.

I think you need to be aware. Aware of the world around you, aware of the past, aware of what’s going on in sectors other than your own, aware of any growing international ‘feeling’, aware of social movements, aware of the youth…….just aware!



Lindgren, M., & Bandhold, H. (2003).  Scenario Planning: The Link Between Future and Strategy. Palgrave MacMillan: Houndmills, UK.  Retrieved from

Author Unknown. (2011). Eyes Wide Open: Embraching Uncertainty Through Scenario Planning.  Retrieved from


3 thoughts on “Important skills for generating effective scenarios

  1. That’s a well founded reflection. Awareness and open mindedness are definitely valuable assets for the scenario planner.

  2. Indeed, being aware of only educational matters seems not to be enough. Educators engaged in SP need to have a 360º panoramic view of the world around us, big challenge!

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