In case anyone is interested in the process for this scenario-planning project it is roughly as below. By the way I am not doing this alone. Far from it. Oliver Freeman at NFA is Head of Process (I’m Head of Content apparently) and Cameron M, Ellen F and Leanne P are guiding the rest of the core scenarios team. I will name check everyone in due course.
The process (snack-sized version):
Stage One: Questions
Identifying the set of key framing questions most relevant to the overall achievement of the organisational purpose (as the key focus for this strategic enquiry).
Contextualising in an Issues Report the range of ideas, which will together drive the creation of the Framing Questions for the Scenario Building activity. The main purpose of this initial stage is to frame in precise terms the burning issues and concerns faced by the Library Network and in defining the overarching Framing Question to guide and focus the strategic enquiry.
Stage Two: Environments
Identifying and assessing the major trends, critical uncertainties and predetermined elements whose combinations are shaping future environments using expert-based, trend-based and foresight methodologies.
This stage requires a comprehensive review of the Network’s external environments. Conceptually, it is useful to see any organisation or community as an integrated set of components that are embedded within and separate from an environment of many dynamic factors (natural, social, political, economic, cultural and technological) whose inter-relationships are complex and will create emergent futures.
Stage Three: Scenarios
Creating a set of differentiated scenario worlds in order to identify new opportunities and unforeseen risks associated with these future environments. Part of the set will be a preferred future, which will be built as a consequence of the enquiry launched by Stage 1.
Scenarios provide a framework to develop and evaluate organisational strategies. Scenarios are possible views of the world, providing a context in which executives can make decisions. By seeing a range of possible worlds, decisions will be better informed and a strategy based on this knowledge and insight will be more likely to succeed. The purpose of building scenarios is not to get the future right, as it were, but to stimulate reflection and debate on how strategically to shape the future together.