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Companies and organizations have used the methodology of developing alternative scenarios for decades. Most often introduced as a brainstorming or lateral thinking technique, modern scenario planning has used the presence of technology and available information to transform itself into a rigorous decision-making discipline. Sometimes called 'pre-mortem analysis', a good scenario exercise develops trip wires and triggers for pre-arranged decisions for a finite combination of alternative events - allowing management the luxury of risk management within controlled boundaries. The remaining issue is the discipline to follow the guidelines of good scenario plans.

Target Audience
The workshop is designed for managers and staff actually engaged in business planning or oversight of the planning process. Although the theory is introduced, this is a practical exercise, with practical examples from companies and organizations.

Objectives
The workshop will expand participants' toolkits for scenario planning. The basic areas of concentration will involve a) the systematic review and challenge of assumptions and b) the improvement of decision-making with respect to both rigor and time to implementation.

Themes
The underlying theme of the workshop is 'meeting the challenge of forging a direct link between scenario planning and strategic decision-making'. This theme is reinforced by matching the efforts of scenario development with scenario deployment through an organization, and developing the discipline to follow through once triggers are met.

Specific Topics
1) Securing decision maker involvement
2) Managing the lag between scenario development and payoff
3) Pre-mortem analysis and 'How often to revisit trip wires"
4) Maximizing strategic response capabilities
5) Stress testing - how rigorous and how often
6) Reinforcing organizational commitment
7) Scenario planning and crisis management

Design
The workshop will have a minimum of lecture presentation, and many small case examples from real world firms and banks, in particular. Scenario deployment is often used as a risk management technique, and so the emphasis on risk management in a real world context will be reinforced with case examples. Participants will be encouraged to collaborate on examples they themselves bring from their own firms.

Delivery
The workshop is two or three days, modular in design (so it is adaptable when integrated with other management development efforts) and highly interactive. The case studies are global, and a selection based upon participant preference of industry or region may be tailored to the audience.



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