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April 07, 2014

Unknown Unknowns, Scenarios and Strategic Judgment

Peter Kennedy
Partner

Errol Morris’s documentary on Donald Rumsfeld is in the theatres. The film, plus a companion four-part series on the former secretary of defense in the The New York Times, raises interesting questions about knowledge, uncertainty and corporate strategy.

  

 
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March 09, 2014

Scenario Perspectives on California Drought

Peter Kennedy
Partner

Is the current California drought about climate change or some periodically recurring rainfall shortage?  The experts don't agree.  Which is why planners affected by this situation should rigorously think through multiple scenarios -- and their implications.

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February 04, 2014

The Future Mental Olympics?

Patrick Marren
Partner

David Brooks has a column today about the effect computing technology might have on the sorts of intellectual skills humans will value in the future.

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November 22, 2013

JFK + 50: Alternative Scenarios

Patrick Marren
Partner

A few thoughts on this anniversary...

If JFK had lived:

1. He had started back-channel communications with Castro a few weeks before his death, so our relations with Cuba might have been very different.

2. He had also begun discussions with his advisors about an exit strategy from Vietnam. Some experts think he would have stayed in Vietnam; others, including some of his closest advisors, think he would have gotten out in a second term. It seems unlikely that he would have escalated as aggressively as LBJ.

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October 10, 2013

What, Us Worry?

Patrick Marren
Partner

The Financial Times has a story that causes our eyebrows to rise well above half-mast this morning.

 

With Greek banks' splendid history of rigorous management and Wall Street hedge funds' impeccable eye for risk and record of spreading nothing but goodness and light in countries in which they invest, what could possibly go wrong? 

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September 10, 2013

Every Day Is September 10

Patrick Marren
Partner

Happy Future Scenarios Awareness Day.

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August 15, 2013

The Inevitable Not Happening?

Patrick Marren
Partner

The importance of including the seemingly impossible when writing scenarios.

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August 02, 2013

How Doctors - and We - Think

Patrick Marren
Partner

Scenarios are like second, third, fourth and fifth opinions.

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April 28, 2013

Scenario Planning, 100 Years Ago and Now

Patrick Marren
Partner

Reading a book about 1913 Vienna illuminates a 2013 book about a future of inevitable progress.

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April 22, 2013

The Boston Marathon Bombing, Al Gore, Byron Reese, and Scenario Planning

Patrick Marren
Partner

While the surreal drama of the Marathon Bombing and the subsequent manhunt was going on last week, I was reading two books about the future.

I was expecting to be annoyed by Al Gore's book The Future, and to be energized by Byron Reese's Infinite Progress. But it didn't quite turn out that way.

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