Scenarios for Success: Turning Insights in to Action

Front Cover
Bill Sharpe, Kees van der Heijden
John Wiley & Sons, Jul 31, 2008 - Business & Economics - 434 pages
Properly researched and intelligently deployed, scenario planning is today’s most powerful tool for understanding and preparing for an uncertain future. Yet it remains a niche approach, poorly understood by leaders at large. To bring it into the strategy mainstream, leaders need advice on how to turn concepts (scenarios) into actions (strategy).

Scenarios for Success delivers a unique and coherent account of the state of the scenario planning art. It is aimed particularly at those trying to implement its findings. Striking a balance between theory and practice, the contributors show how and why the core techniques of scenario thinking have endured and are still valuable, while bringing new tools and processes that keep scenario planning in touch with modern realities.


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Part I Origins Navigating with Invisible Islands
1 Conversations with Peter Schwartz and Napier Collyns
2 Professional Dreamers The Future in the Past of Scenario Planning
Part II Scenarios in the World of Business
3 Scenarios and Innovation
4 Scenarios to Develop Strategic Options A New Interactive Role for Scenarios in Strategy
5 Deepening Futures with System Structure
6 From Signals to Decisions
9 Viewing Futures Network Collaborative Learning and Innovation at Rabobank
10 Facilitating Scenario Development Process Some Lessons for Facilitators
11 Appreciating the Future
12 Building a Comprehensive Strategic Future Management System A Future Map Approach
13 Acting on the Future
14 Backwards to the Future Scenarios as Routines for Organizational Health
Concluding Remarks

7 When Strangers Meet Scenarios and the Legal Profession
8 The Power of Narrative
Part III Scenarios in the World of Management

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About the author (2008)

Bill Sharpe is an independent researcher in science, technology and society. He was a research director at Hewlett Packard Laboratories where he led research into everyday applications of digital technology. He introduced scenario methods to HP for long-range research and business management, and pioneered the use of scenario methods for supporting business innovation. In 1999 he co-founded an innovation and consulting company, The Appliance Studio, and now specializes in long range technology studies for business strategy and public policy foresight. He has worked extensively for the UK government’s Foresight Programme in areas such as Cognitive Systems, Cybertrust, and Intelligent Infrastructure. With a background in computing and psychology, he is particularly interested in drawing on leading edge research in cognition and systems thinking to find new ways of tackling complex problems. He works independently and as an associate with several organizations in the futures field.

Kees van der Heijden is an Associate Fellow of Templeton College, University of Oxford, and a Visiting Professor at the Netherlands Business School, Nijenrode University. He is also Emeritus Professor of the University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business, Glasgow, where he has taught General and Strategic Management since 1990. In addition, he is a co-founder of the Global Business Network. Before joining Strathclyde, he was in charge of scenario planning at Royal Dutch/Shell, as head of the Group’s Business Environment Division. This involved advising top management on strategy, as well as development of the process of scenario planning in which Shell has taken a worldwide leading role.

He specializes in scenario planning, strategic change and institutional strategic management processes, and has consulted widely in these areas.

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