Food for Thought: The Art of the Long View

– Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World –

First published in 1991, “The Art of the Long View” by Peter Schwartz continues to be one of the classics on a forecasting method called scenario planning. Initially developed at Royal/Dutch Shell, scenario planning allows for a systematic strategic approach to assess future developments in a best case, base case, and worst case scenario, respectively.

Based on comprehensive information gathering and processing, this long-range planning approach not only enables decision makers and entrepreneurs to outline potential scenarios, but also to track the change of key parameters for their business, thereby determining the likelihood of individual scenarios.

Sounds too abstract? Take a drug development company with several compounds in clinical development. Assembling and tracking information on key value drivers, such as statistic failure of product candidates at various development stages, recent market developments, latest trial data of the compounds etc., will provide a comprehensive overview of the progress of the company´s pipeline and its likelihood to get to the market.  More important, it is also an opportunity to prepare for less favorable scenarios and act quickly if they become reality.

For further information about scenario planning and Peter Schwartz´s work, please click here.