January 31, 2013

Thirteen: Year of Magical Thinking

Patrick Marren
Partner

Too many hands.

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January 18, 2013

400-Word Scenario #8*: Manti Te'o World

Patrick Marren
Partner

The Manti Te'o events of this past week have caused your scenario planning consultants to think bad thoughts about the future.

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January 14, 2013

400-Word Scenario #10: Fiscal Ramp to Prosperity

Patrick Marren
Partner

February 14, 2013 [Wolf News/MSDNC]: In a Valentine's Day miracle, Congress and the administration today reached a long-term deal on the debt ceiling, taxes, and fiscal reform.

A group of rogue bipartisan realists from perfectly safe seats - the Washington DC and Guam delegates and the observer team from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, spurred along by a contingent of visiting Marines and Seal Team members glowering down from Senate and House galleries, publicly wondering exactly what they have been risking their lives to preserve - have brokered a deal to end the budget logjam. 

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December 28, 2012

2012: Five Inevitable Things That Did Not Happen

Patrick Marren
Partner

Five things that were "bound to occur," away from which we rashly predict the media will moonwalk at warp speed in 2013.

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December 10, 2012

SCENARIO PLANNING BULLETIN: End of World Is Upon Us

Patrick Marren
Partner

DECEMBER 10, 2012 (QLS News) Hang on to your hats and forget the Mayans: scenario-based planning may suddenly have become a much simpler game. The world is ending December 31, 2012. 

News of the impending apocalypse was revealed by analysts at the University of South Vegas Department of Calendricalosity.

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November 22, 2012

400-Word Scenario #9: Thanksgiving 2042

Patrick Marren
Partner

"Now let us all join hands and give thanks for all we have this day.

"First, for our gas generator that saved us when the power grid went down yet again last night. It costs four times as much as our fathers' power bill, but it's there when we need it and it keeps our electric fence going when the Others try to enter our yard. 

"Second, for our advanced weaponry and the Iron Dome that defends us from all enemies, domestic and...well, mostly domestic. Our new rooftop electromagnetic pulse gun stops the Others before they even reach the security perimeter moat. 

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November 16, 2012

Idea-less in Gaza

Patrick Marren
Partner

Now that the happy horserace of the election is over, on to some grimmer scenarios. 

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November 01, 2012

Scenario Planning, Hurricane Sandy, and Relationships

Patrick Marren
Partner

This has been a ridiculously busy and stressful week for three of our recent scenario-based strategic planning clients: the United States Coast Guard, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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October 25, 2012

Nate Silver and Data-Recency Bias

Patrick Marren
Partner

One more thought provoked by Nate Silver's thought-provoking The Signal and the Noise.

It's about the seductiveness of data and cool, overly precise models.

(In comparison, say, to scenario-based planning? Sorry, the scenario consultants in us always rear their ugly, pragmatic, self-promoting heads. We gotta work on that.)

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October 12, 2012

Foxy Hedgehogs: "The Signal and the Noise"

Patrick Marren
Partner

Nate Silver's book The Signal and the Noise makes a darned good case for scenario-based strategic planning. 

In it, he raises the old distinction between "hedgehogs" and "foxes," from a fragment by the ancient Greek philosopher Archilochus via Isaiah Berlin: "The fox knows many little things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."

"Foxes" in this dichotomy are nonideological and open thinkers not wedded to any one theory; they are comfortable with "nuance, uncertainty, complexity, and dissenting opinion."

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