Re: Strategic/Scenario Planning LO3665

Michael McMaster (
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 07:42:32 +0000

Replying to LO3642 --

Arie de Geus who was instrumental in introducing scenario planning at
Shell and for popularising it said to me that the value wasn't in the
scenarios or the future plans themselves so much as it was in the
shared dialogue and language that was created.

The value showed up in significant financial ways when an opportunity
or situation happened that they had already discussed in depth. They
could immediately swing into action and complete a deal based on the
prior conversations before the competition had even gotten themselves
together to discuss it.

Score another point for "it's all conversation".

How to get executives interested enough to devote the time involves,
for me, some heavy conversation about what an executive's job is. In
addition, and maybe more important, is to connect the scenario
planning sessions to the present. That is done by relating the
conversations of the meeting to the ongoing ones of the organisation
- and, with a little luck, to some of the large payoffs that Shell
managed from the process.

Michael McMaster