Scenario planning 123. Download our free guide to trend identification.
The last few months may have been tough for some of you because of the limitations on work and communication, but for others it has been a period of blessed relief.
Coming out of lockdown and back into a regular work pattern will fill some people with dread.
Uncertainty around what kinds of business will succeed, fed by commentary across all media, isn’t helping. If we aren’t reading stories about the amazing growth rate of lockdown start-ups, we’re being told that everything established will fail.
Don’t worry. Things are no more difficult than they always were – but they are different.
How to work it through
Getting serious about the questions is a start. Can you honestly, hand-on-heart, say you’ve interrogated the probability that you can continue as before?
Try listing ideas that you could pivot into right now. You’ve probably got a sense of a latent idea that could be developed to generate sales sometime. Write it down, and work out whether it’s something to consider immediately.
Try this every day for a week. Sit and jot down ten ideas. Do it again tomorrow and the day after, and it may surprise you how often the ideas you like the most will come to the surface.
What’s a scenario?
A scenario is an anticipation of what could happen to your business at any time.
Being brutally honest with yourself and your team is another hard exercise but hugely valuable.
We’d recommend you have a minimum of three scenarios in play all the time: everything stays the same, everything goes wrong, everything goes better than imagined. By thinking this through, you gain a sense of the external factors that are heading your way and start to look further out to see emerging threats and opportunities.
For example: what would the worst day look like?
When you’ve had that thought, what would you do to:
- Avoid it
- Use it
- Create a product/system/process/service to resolve the issue presented
Acting on #3 might prevent it happening at all.
Similarly, what would the best day look like: for example, what would you do if Google came knocking to make you an offer to buy?
None of this is brain surgery, but business leaders don’t record these thoughts often enough. You may have the thoughts in the shower, but your team can’t contribute unless you share them.
The customers you supply are changing their behaviours in response to consumer demands more quickly than anyone can keep track of, which means that your value proposition will also need to change.
If you’d like someone to work with your team on this kind of exercise, you know where we are.
Download our free guide to trend identification here.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.