September 15, 2021
“ The planning fallacy is that you make a plan, which is usually a best-case scenario. Then you assume that the outcome will follow your plan, even when you should know better." – Daniel Kahneman
It is normal when we are struggling with a problem, that we focus on creating ONE quick fix. The Scenario Planning process forces us to identify multiple ideas before trying a solution. Positive and Negative scenarios are equally valued. Using this ‘multiple’ process, we can evaluate responses and choices for both positive and negative solutions, allowing us to see a bigger picture and more options.
Important note: do not do this by yourself. You already know what you know; the shared experience of identifying four possible ‘worlds’ creates a more deep and engaging way of figuring out how to solve problems together.
There are four quadrants, and each represents a slightly different part of the problem based on high and low, and trust and impact. Here’s a simple example. Let’s say you are trying to build a workshop to improve a group that doesn’t like each other very well. You believe that there is a need to think about the IMPACT (delivered work) and TRUST (of others) on this team. Using Scenario Planning, you can combine these two words into four possible scenarios quadrants. There are four unique combinations:
Now comes the fun part. For each quadrant, you get to ‘make up’ what would happen for each quadrant, thinking of good and bad outcomes. Looking at the problem this way helps you think through different situations instead of jumping to just one. If you have enough people, assign a team to each one of these quadrants, then share the results.
What would it be like if your team had high IMPACT and high TRUST? How would that impact leadership, teamwork, processes, customer relationships, training, hiring, etc.? The story your team makes up for this could be:
Your team could discuss this together and get some new ideas about how they could being even better.
What would it be like if your team had low IMPACT and high TRUST? The story your team might make up for this could be:
Your team could discuss this together and get some new ideas about how to work on delivery.
What would it be like if your team had high IMPACT and low TRUST? The story your team might make up for this could be:
Your team could discuss this together and get some new ideas about how to fix the perception and reality of the workload.
What would it be like if your team had low IMPACT and low TRUST? Clearly, this is the worst scenario. The story your team might make up for this could be:
Your team could discuss this together and get some new ideas about how to improve trust while working on new ways to get results to the customers.
Each team will share and discuss the stories by sharing them with the others. Everyone hears all the suggestions. None of the suggestions are forced, just discussed. The team will begin to look for new ideas and combinations, and there’s no ultimate final goal...yet.
Now that the team knows a lot about how IMPACT and TRUST are currently driving the organization, it’s time for the team to imagine something bigger and better. This is a time for stretching and sketching the great future that you could build together with honest discussions. Here are some starting points to discuss the FUTURE NEW way to have great Impact and Trust:
Scenario Planning is a great way to help different types of people and problems understand that worst-case scenarios and best-case scenarios in within confusing problems. Ultimately, Scenario Planning can help executives and teams to use this as a framework for providing multiple insights.
If you would like to try using Scenario Planning with one of your teams, please contact us for pricing and availability.