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Hardcover Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation Book

ISBN: 0471966398

ISBN13: 9780471966395

Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation

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Book Overview

"Artful scenario spinning is a form of convergent thinking about divergent fututes. It ensures not that you are always right about the future but--better--that you are almost never wrong about the future."--Stewart Brand This groundbreaking book from University of Strathclyde professor Kees van der Heijden shows how to use scenarios--a powerful new approach to strategic planning--to pilot your company profitably through unknown territory. When initially...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Packed with Knowledge!

Many business books provide just enough information to whet executives' appetites for more advice accompanied by high consulting fees. Author Kees van der Heijden has written an exception. His comprehensive volume puts scenario building in historical context, explains its relationship to forecasting and tells you how to introduce scenario planning to your organization. Once you understand your corporate identity and your fundamental "Business Idea," he says, you can establish and enact informative scenarios that will prepare your company for several different versions of what lies ahead. In that way, scenario planning generates better decision making. We strongly recommend this book to top managers, strategists and planners, especially those who sense they're making decisions on the fly without having a structure for thinking deeply about future implications.

Strategic Processes MasterGuide

Aimed at business strategists or consultants, this book provides many deep, usable tools, and approaches assisting the development of more robust projects and organizations across a range of futures.The well referenced attractive chapters span:++ The context- history in Shell, and three paradigms (rationalist/ evolutionist, and processualist).++ The principles of scenario planning- the business idea, uncertainty, scenarios, and scenarios planning in organizations.++ The practice of scenario planning- practitioner's art, articulating the business idea, competitive positioning, scenario development, and option planning.++ Institutionalizing scenario planning- the management of change, planning processes, and guiding the strategic conversation.Strengths include: the credibility and rigor of content (the author has 35 years experience in this field!); the attractive style and presentation; the sets of checklist & guidance for those embarking on scenario planning exercises; and extremely relevant tools for senior managers (and whole organizations) to avoid "analysis-paralysis" number-crunching or Las Vegas gambling on guesswork and charisma. The main weakness (to this reviewer) was a need for more case studies, and perhaps more occasional humor/lightheartedness.Overall, a great text which goes very well with the high quality Gill Ringland's "Scenario Planning- Managing for the Future" (Wiley, 1998, ISBN 047197790X).

The richest guide to scenarios and strategy

I usually recommend Peter Schwartz's The Art of the Long View to newcomers to scenario planning, however van der Heijden's Scenarios is the definitive text for those that want more richness and detail, not only on implementing scenario planning as an ongoing practice within organisations, but also on how the use of scenarios instructs all strategic thinking. van der Heijden's concept of the Business Idea should be central to all managers' and consultants' work.

Process to get a business to think strategic vs tactics

This book is aimed at corporate strategists, or anyone responsible for figuring out where a business needs to go, vs. what the business is doing today. You can also use these techniques for your personal life. Kees uses lots of examples to get his ideas across. I personally found the text too dry and academic, but the ideas and processes presented are excellent, and it is well worth the read. I also appreciated his comments on dealing with internal politics, which seems to be the over-arching subject in a lot of these meetings. A very good companion book would be Peter Schwartz's The Art of the Long View. Both Peter and Kees used to work together at Shell, and both books complement each other

A Life-Time's Experience in Scenarios and Corporate Strategy

What makes this book such high-value reading is not just the quality of the author's argument; it is the way in which he lets us participate in his wealth of experience gained over many years of conducting practical scenario work. Readers with a professional background in corporate strategic planning will profit from this thoughtful exposition of accrued processual knowledge. Newcomers are offered a unique opportunity to make a direct shortcut to the results of a life-time's professional learning in this highly complex field of practice. This is not to say, of course, it could replace personal experience to be made by each individual alone; however, Kees van der Heijden offers a clearly structured guide to the Whys and Hows of organizational learning based on the scenario approach to planning. (read more about this great book at http://www.unisg.ch/~sgzz/links/stp/futres/bookrev.htm)
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