Unexpected Developments: February 26
Scenario planning is about imagining the improbable; here are some improbable things that happened on this date.
1361: Good King Wenceslaus is born, unexpectedly NOT on the Feast of Stephen.
1815: Because he failed to do scenario planning, specifically in failing to imagine that his personal Waterloo was coming, Napoleon escapes his exile on Elba.
1909: The first color movie is shown to an audience in London. Daniel Day-Lewis is acclaimed as the best actor.
1914: HMHS Britannic, sister ship to the Titanic, is launched out of Harland & Wolff shipyards in Belfast. Doubtless scenario planning was done on whether it would sink if it hit an iceberg; perhaps not as much scenario planning was done on whether the sea lanes might suddenly be closed by attacking German submarines within five months.
1917: The Original Dixieland Jass [sic] Band records the first jazz record in New York, and a straight-line cultural decline leading through disco toward gangsta rap is foreseen by farsighted old people.
1935: For those who believe that solutions arise to meet every problem: On the very same day as Adolf Hitler violates the Versailles Treaty by re-establishing the Luftwaffe, Robert Watson-Watt, clearly a genius at scenario planning, does the first demonstration of radar at Daventry in the United Kingdom.
1960: An Alitalia flight taking off for New York crashes into a cemetery at Shannon, Ireland, killing 34 of 52 passengers. By nightfall Irish rescue authorities have recovered 675 bodies. (Sorry. Old joke in the family.)
1980: In a scenario few have planned for, Egypt and Israel establish full diplomatic relations.
1993: A truck bomb explodes in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center, killing six, yet not quite eliciting the sort of scenario planning necessary.