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Mapping Futures: Canary's Scenario Planning Overview

overview scenario planning Jul 18, 2023
    • On the Canary Blog, you’ll find tool reviews, step-by-steps, checklists, how-to’s, and inspirational use cases on futuristic topics. In this scenario planning overview, you get links to all the posts on, well, scenario planning šŸ™‚
    • Scenario planning is about envisioning various futures, not to predict outcomes but to understand possible future contexts and to prepare for an uncertain and complex environment.
    • All scenario planning posts come from my experience, so you’ll get practical, real-world, actionable information that you can adapt to your situation.

    Background Materials

    In Top Reads, you’ll get links to a good handbook, articles and courses that will get you started with scenario planning at your own pace.

    About The Method

    In Unpacking the Scenario Method, you’ll discover six different ways to do scenario planning and determine which suits you best.

    In Scenario Planning Controversy, you’ll find the research to back you if you want to advocate scenario planning. You’ll also be in the know about what it can and cannot do for you.

    Before You Start Scenario Planning

    In the 15 Steps to Effective Scenario Planning Design, you’ll discover what steps to take before you start scenario planning.

    In Nine Common Pitfalls, you’ll learn what not to do. It’s the other side of the design post. It comes in handy when you’re considering doing scenario planning.

    In The Team Formula there is a checklist to help you decide who to ask for the scenario planning project team. It seems trivial, but the right people on the team is an essential prerequisite for success.

    In the Futures Thinking Skills post, you can source handy prompts and questions to upgrade the futures thinking skills of your scenario planning participants.

    During Scenario Planning

    Your scenarios must be of the best possible quality. Here are some resources to help you check or upgrade your scenarios.

    In Utopia, you can check your best-case scenario against the 10 coolest best-case scenarios I could find.

    In Caves of Steel, you’ll get an explanation of using sci-fi books and movies to stretch your scenarios to more uncertain futures. Usually, your wild-card scenario benefits the most from this exercise.

    Other futures stories that will help you stretch your thinking are


  • The Manager Algorithm about a possible future of work
  • The Interview with My Future Self is an example of an exercise you can use


Do It With You

In the Top-50 Scenario Exploration review, you’ll be introduced to a client who asked me to facilitate their top 50 managers in a scenario planning project.


Special For Teachers

If you’re a higher education teacher, then The Power Teaching Foresight will show you how you can easily integrate foresight classroom activities into your lesson plans.

Considering the speed and scope of change in our society, I think it is essential that students learn how to manage this in their field.

I teach scenario planning to MBA students and innovation majors, so you’ll get tried and proven tips.


āž¤ The overview gets updated with every new post on scenario planning on the Canary Blog.


About the Canary

The Canary Blog is written for curious executives working to improve their organizations. It sings many foresight songs to help spark your organization's foresight (change awareness and response capabilities). Fly here to subscribe.

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