FSG Blog

Scenario Consulting to Go

It’s been said – and it’s still true – that scenario planning is most valuable as a tool to deliver strategic insights for longer-term planning. But in recent years, with the accelerating pace of change (and the increased recognition of such), private sector executives have tended to pass on in-depth strategic exercises in favor of what most would consider to be business planning. FSG believes this is a mistake, and that the need for thinking rigorously about what lies “around the corner” is always valuable, especially in turbulent times.

This Week’s Scenario Blast from the Past: Nation-Building in ’01

Despite our leeriness about extrapolation from the past, we do read a lot of history at FSG in order to write our scenarios. As Mark Twain wrote, “It is not worth while to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man’s character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible.” (Mark Twain in Eruption: Hitherto Unpublished Pages About Men and Events (1940, Bernard DeVoto, editor). 

Seven Wrong Things People Think About the Future

All along the untrodden paths of the future I see the footprints of an unseen hand. – Sir Boyle Roche

We who inhabit the Land of Scenariotopia (as a former colleague termed our little realm) think that the best way to predict the future is not to.

What We Are On About Here

Few people think more than two or three times a year. I’ve made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week. – George Bernard Shaw

Update on the USCG’s Project Evergreen

FSG scenario consultants had a busy summer facilitating scenario workshops. In June, FSG ran the second of two Evergreen scenario-planning workshops for the U.S. Coast Guard this calendar year. Evergreen, the Coast Guard’s long-term strategy and strategic-renewal process, is now in its third continuous cycle.

The Wisdom of Scenario Crowds

The strategic decisions that corporations have to make are of mind-numbing complexity. But we know that the more power you give to a single individual in the face of complexity and uncertainty, the more likely it is that bad decisions will be made.

 — James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds 

Global Scenario Planning: On the Road in the Middle Kingdom

Recently, I traveled to China for two weeks. Unsurprisingly, this trip personalized my awareness of an immense and different country. But, perhaps because of the amount of time I have spent working with scenarios over the past 15-20 years, it offered much more. China is beautiful, fascinating, and varied. Its future is, however, significantly less predictable than that of any other major country in the world today.