Skills and Resources for Associations.

Scenario Planning

Over-the-horizon radar On the basis that the squeaky wheel gets most attention, urgent matters whether they are important or unimportant tend to soak up the available attention and time.

This leaves important matters that are not urgent starved of resources, attention and time until they themselves become urgent.

The dilemma is set out in the matrix diagram below.




Clearly issues which are both important and urgent need top priority. Often other issues which appear urgent are not in reality important­ however it is tempting to ­escape into business­ to avoid having to look at issues beyond the immediate. It is worth trying to eliminate these time wasters from your schedule and to focus only on the important issues.

Those issues which are important but not urgent are the areas where scenario planning comes into context.

Whilst the future is essentially “unknowable”, the one certainty is that it will arrive sooner than most of us think. It is not a luxury to speculate and think about the future.

Scenario planning puts rigour into the process by focusing on:

  • The key question to be addressed;
  • The stakeholders who will impact on that question;
  • The drivers of change ­ both predictable and uncertain; leading to
  • Several possible future scenarios from which forward strategies can be developed.