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Critical Strategic Foresight Tools

Critical Strategic Foresight Tools for Sustainable Productivity

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Experts Biography

Jonathan Star

Jonathan Star is a workshop designer and facilitator. He specializes in scenario planning, a technique that uses stories about the future to change the minds and actions of teams so that they are better prepared for tomorrow. He uses scenarios to help clients with contingency planning, strategy, inn

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Course Description

The purpose of this e-course is to equip workshop participants and other APO professionals to continue their work in scenario planning and also to train other associates in the technique and associated tools. Scenario planning, the focus on this course, is a process that generates a group of plausible stories about the future. These can then be used to aid long-term planning. Well-written scenarios combine rigorous forecasts with immersive storytelling elements to bring possible futures to life. In so doing, they can help inspire readers to take action in a way that more “traditional” methods of communication might not. The traditional scenario planning methodology, pioneered by Royal Dutch Shell, emphasises that scenarios are not intended to present definitive predictions about the future. Rather, scenarios help to articulate the risks and opportunities present in a range of plausible futures, and serve as a discussion tool to stimulate debate about strategies to shape the future. Scenario planning can also be seen as a change management tool — specifically, a way to sensitise the participants in the process to indicators of change and to the unpredictability and volatility of the future. They can help cultivate a “contingency mindset” and build the capacity to react quickly when the need arises.

The course is structured according to the main elements of a strategic foresight / scenarios process. Throughout the report, there are also a number of call out boxes that describe different skills / techniques that are helpful in scenario work.
There are 10 modules:
1. Thinking About the Future
2. Introduction to Scenario Planning
3. Establishing a Project
4. Driving Forces
5. Building Blocks
6. Scenario Frameworks
7. Storytelling
8. Implications, Options and Indicators
9. Communicating Scenarios
10. Practical Considerations
There is also included, as an extra, a glossary of key terms and a further reading list. This e-learning course includes five interim quizzes and one final exam.
1-2) Course Objectives:
I) Equip participants with the fundamentals and principles of strategic foresight and scenario planning as well as explain its relevance and approaches specific to public and private organizations; and
II) Develop the capability of individuals to set forward-looking strategic directions derived from plausible scenarios for the future.

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