Scenarios can’t predict the future, so what’s the point?
The benefits are in more than just predicting the future.
If that were the biggest benefit, we should just spend more time making a Martymobile!
So why do it?
Because it’s not all about the future. Scenario planning is just as valuable to us in our present day lives – where we often forget to appreciate, where we live in a routine not only physically but also in our minds, where we play out the same worries, the same hopes, the same fears. So scenario planning becomes a great thinking exercise in itself. It forces us to take the blinkers off, step outside our regular box and open our minds to more than just tried and true thought patterns. Bringing in viewpoints from totally random sources….poets, musicians, streetkids, monks….sharing experience and collaborating without a sense of hierarchy or esteem, enables us to live more richly now, today. We can all, no matter how open minded, creative or versatile we believe we are, benefit from the minds of others.
As Oliver Freeman says, scenario planning “takes [us] away from the trap” of prediction. With this, I would add it takes us away from the dangers of expectation. If we expect one future to happen, if we place all our thoughts on this, regardless of whether it be in a corporate or personal context, we are immediately setting ourselves up for a fall if this one particular thing we expect doesn’t eventuate. In allowing us the freedom to blend intuition with critical processes, to imagine multiple worlds, and to live just for a moment in each of these worlds, scenario planning frees us from the constricts we so often place on our minds.