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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Planning Under Uncertainty

Good Piece in Knowledge@Wharton: Eyes Wide Open: Embracing Uncertainty through Scenario Planning. Given our uncertain times, a technique that needs to be more commonly used. It is perhaps the discipline that is most lacking. Large enterprises should have shelves of key scenarios that are ready for use, application and modification. Even the exercise of their application can lead to insight.

1 comment:

Vic Uzumeri said...

Years ago, I sat on a sofa in a conference hotel corridor with Tom Matano. He was the head of design for Mazda's West Coast design center when they came up with the Miata and the MPV.

He drew a diagram on a scrap of paper that I have remembered (as best I can) and held dear to this day.

His key point was that most people in most companies are focused on the immediate past or, at most, the near term future.

He saw the role of industrial designers as the people who sample different possibilities in the far future and make them concrete by presenting them as tangible designs ideas.

The industrial designer's role isn't to predict the future, but rather to explore the future and bring a sample back for normal people, who are focused on the here and now.

Once those folks (CEOs, marketers, managers, etc.) can see a visual example of a future possibility, they can decide whether the company should or should not go there.

Best 10 min I ever spent.