The Art of the Long View

I read this to learn more about scenario planning.  Peter Schwartz’s The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World is a very interesting introduction to this type of preparing for what may come.  Schwartz teaches with examples from his own work with companies large and small.  If I understand it correctly, the main idea is to create a few different scenarios about how things could work out (on any timescale, for any purpose) and then for each of those scenarios identify key indicators so you’ll know if they’re actually happening and, of course, planned courses of action in response to the scenario.

Schwartz takes a lot of care to explain why scenario planning is useful, why it’s not psychologically accepted by many corporations/humans, what can be done to increase the chances of acceptance of scenario planning and how to make the responses to the scenarios effective.   His writing style is pleasing and it’s pretty easy to imagine that you’re listening to him carefully explain all this to you.  I’ll definitely check out some of his more recent works (this book was published in 1991) to see where he’s gone with his thinking/working lately.

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