“Scenario planning” may be two of the new buzz words in 2020. It has come up in many conversations and discussions with clients, community members, and even among family and friends. Whether building out worst case to best case scenarios for staffing, funding projects, hosting conferences, or family vacations, most of us are dealing with multiple versions of realities in the near-term and throughout the coming year.
Scenario planning is about identifying various different “realities” of what may happen and then making assumptions on what might happen in the future. It’s certainly nothing new, with its origination typically attributed to Herman Kahn in the 1950’s. Military institutions use it to cope with unknowns by anticipating various situations and the consequences that ensue. Farmers use it when considering how the weather may impact their crops and forecast sales and future investments accordingly. Businesses use it in various ways from simple budgeting to new product development or business expansion.
But what kind of leadership is needed for effective scenario planning? I concur with some of my former colleagues at ICL as they recently blogged about Adaptive Leadership. This is a critical skill in times like this. Adaptive leaders gather diverse viewpoints, navigate unknown waters with empathy, generate lots of options, seek to find solutions that are a “win” for as many involved as possible. They also learn through experimentation and correction.
So as your organization, business, or even your family, dives into the unknowns by planning out various scenarios, try being an adaptive leader. You’ll gain more trust and ACHIEVE stronger results!