Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development's online course, Futurism and Business: Dealing with Complexity. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds In the previous learning unit I gave you a very quick, if you like, definition of a scenario. Let’s expand upon that. Perhaps by starting off out by pointing out that once again that a scenario is not a prediction. It is a picture of the future. More specifically, it’s a description of a possible future situation. Obviously we’re emphasizing again the word future. It may include paths of development that could lead to that future situation. We can also point out, very importantly, the scenario is not meant to be a comprehensive image of the future, but rather to focus our attention on one of two specific aspects of reality. And we use scenarios for different reasons.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds Sometimes we use them to enable us to understand reality better. At other times we might set ourselves a goal, some future goal, and then think about how to achieve that goal. I think very importantly, as is often the case in many disciplines, there’s no one specific way of understanding and/ or using scenarios. Different people use them for different reasons. We also need to point out that practitioners have different ways of achieving these scenarios, and that we’ll talk about later on in this learning unit. But fundamentally, I would like you to just take home these ideas. The scenario’s not a prediction. We need more than one scenario. We can’t have just one picture of the future.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds There’s a plurality of our futures. And they are not meant to be hard and fast projections on what’s going to happen. They enable us to get a broader understanding of how the future or futures may unfold.

What are scenarios?

Scenarios are used in estimating the probable effects of one or more variables, and are an integral part of situation analysis and long-range planning.

After watching the video, let’s discuss the scenario of the flower again. Now that you have a better understanding of the use of scenarios in predicting the future, expand your list of possible outcomes for the flower to at least eight.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Futurism and Business: Dealing with Complexity

University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development