March 01, 2013

March First? Scenario Plan First, Then March

Patrick Marren
Partner

Things that happened on March 1 through history with which scenario planning might have helped.

293 AD: Co-emperors Diocletian and Maximian raise Constantius Chlorus, their general who has been terrorizing British tribes, to the post of co-Caesar, mostly because Maximian decides that this three-way deal is the best way to assure his own power and ultimate accession to sole emperorship. (If he had done serious scenario planning he might have wondered, "Why do they call Constantius' son Constantine 'The Great'?")

1562: 26 Huguenots are massacred in the French village of Wassy by Catholics, beginning the French wars of religion, which last 36 years and eventually kill hundreds of thousands, and also sort of explain why French people today prefer smoking foul cigarettes, drinking coffee, and arguing in cafes about existentialism over going to either Catholic or Huguenot churches.

1692: Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and the African-American servant Tituba are brought before magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning the Salem Witch Trials and establishing that every future attempt to get to the bottom of anything in North America will be called "a witch hunt."

1870: Remington begins manufacture of the first practical typewriter in Ilion, NY, ensuring that even Steve Jobs will be enslaved to the QWERTY keyboard. 

1896: Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity. After working around uranium for the next twelve years, he dies. It's a mystery. 

1953: Josef Stalin has a stroke after 29 years of iron rule. He dies four days later. Many in the USSR suddenly feel a dire lack of scenario planning. 

2002: The peseta is abandoned by Spain as currency, and is replaced by the euro, guaranteeing prosperity and happiness for all time. 

(Source: Wikipedia, with humorous elaboration and distortion provided by FSG)

Thoughts?