MGT581 Telling Stories About the Future

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  • A great salesperson knows how to tell a story in which the product is the hero A successful line manager can rally the team to extraordinary efforts through a story that shows how short-term sacrifice leads to long-term success. An effective CEO uses an emotional narrative about the company’s mission to attract investors and partners, to set lofty goals, and to inspire employees.
  • http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=2214
  • MGT581 Telling Stories About the Future

    1. 1. David A. JarvisSalve Regina University, MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Telling Stories About the FutureCreating & Using Scenarios
    2. 2. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Agenda History Scenario Rules Storytelling and Creation for Great Theory Process Scenarios 2
    3. 3. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 Understanding the importance of storytelling is essential  Telling a story is giving an example – making it more memorable and easier to understand  Being a good storyteller is essential for good leadership  Storytelling is a performance art  Good storytelling forces the listener to be engagedSOURCE: “The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling”, by Stephen Denning, 2005 3
    4. 4. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 Storytelling misconceptions Storytelling is purely about entertainment TRUTH – The use of the story is not only to delight but also to instruct Storytelling conflicts with authenticity TRUTH – It is always built on the integrity of the story and its tellerSOURCE: “The Four Truths of the Storyteller”, by Peter Guber, Harvard Business Review, Dec 2007 4
    5. 5. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 The four truths of storytelling Truth to the Teller Truth to the Audience • Authenticity is a crucial quality of the • An implicit contract between the storyteller storyteller and the audience • Must be congruent with the story – • Listeners give the storyteller their tongue, feet, and wallet must move in time, with the understanding that they the same direction will spend it wisely • Convincing the mind is easy, share • Great storytellers take time to emotion – reach the heart understand what listeners know about, care about, and want to hear Truth to the Moment Truth to the Mission • A great storyteller never tells a story • A great storyteller is devoted to a the same way twice – responds to cause beyond the self what is unique in each storytelling • The stories must capture and express experience values that the storyteller believes in • Spontaneity and economy can be and wants others to adopt as their elegant and powerful ownSOURCE: “The Four Truths of the Storyteller”, by Peter Guber, Harvard Business Review, Dec 2007 5
    6. 6. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 “A great story is never fully predictable through foresight – but it’s projectable through hindsight.” - Peter Guber, “The Four Truths of the Storyteller” 6
    7. 7. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Matching the story with the situation § Sparking action § Communicating who you are § Communicating who the company is § Transmitting values § Fostering collaboration § Taming the grapevine § Sharing knowledge § Leading people into the futureSOURCE: “The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling”, by Stephen Denning, 2005 7
    8. 8. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 Sparking action – telling a springboard story Describes how a successful change was implemented in the past Allows listeners to imagine how it might work for them – they do the hard work of inventing the future Keep the story simple, avoid excessive details A true story with a positive tone “Just imagine…”, “What if…”SOURCE: “The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling”, by Stephen Denning, 2005 8
    9. 9. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Leading people into the future – sharing a vision  Good leaders can envision the future and inspire others to follow them there  The story must be evocative to resonate  Use examples of “where the future has already happened”  Exemplify the future state  Types: plans, pre-mortems, business models, strategies, scenarios, visions “When do we start?”SOURCE: “The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling”, by Stephen Denning, 2005 9
    10. 10. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 “The purpose of scenarios is to help yourself change your view of reality – to match it up more closely with reality as it is, and reality as it is going to be. The end result, however, is not an accurate picture of tomorrow, but better decisions about the future.” - Peter Schwartz, The Art of the Long View 10
    11. 11. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 VIDEO (MIT Introduction to Scenario Planning – 4:04)11
    12. 12. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Scenarios contain the stories of multiple futures  It is vitally important that we think deeply and creatively about the future, or else we run the risk of being surprised and unprepared  The future is uncertain so we must prepare for multiple plausible futures, not just the one we expect to happen ‘‘Take a good look at this future. This could be your future. Are you going to be ready?’’SOURCE: “The current state of scenario development: an overview of techniques”, by Bishop, Hines and Collins, foresight, 2007 12
    13. 13. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 The power of scenarios to create change  Can encourage action by showing undesirable futures  Can rally people around desirable futures  Force oneself and others to plunge into the unfamiliar  Can uncover unexpected predetermined outcomes  Can protect against groupthink  Can allow people to challenge conventional wisdomSOURCE: “The use and abuse of scenarios”, by Charles Roxburgh, McKinsey Quarterly, Nov 2009 13
    14. 14. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012History of scenarios and their use Origins in military wargaming and operations research 1950s – Herman Kahn and RAND (On Thermonuclear War) 1967 – The Year 2000 A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-Three Years, Herman Kahn & Anthony J. Wiener Royal Dutch/Shell – oil crisis of 1973 Global Business Network – Peter Schwartz Modern corporate strategic planning 14
    15. 15. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Scenario planning literature classics 15
    16. 16. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 VIDEO (MIT Future Freight Flow Scenarios Overview – 4:17)16
    17. 17. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 201217
    18. 18. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 201218
    19. 19. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 VIDEO (MIT Naftastique! Newscast Nov 2037 – 6:35) VIDEO (MIT Millions of Markets Newscast Nov 2037 – 5:46)19
    20. 20. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 The cone of plausibility PAST PRESENT FUTURE + 2030 202 5 202 0 2015 Limit of pla usibi lit y Range of Range of plausible As we look further plausible pasts out, more and more futures becomes plausibleSOURCE: Charles Taylor, Army War College 20
    21. 21. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Baseline vs. alternative scenarios Alternative A Baseline Wildcard scenario CHANGE Alternative B TIME Baseline Alternative WildcardHas the highest probability Describes a potential future An unexpected event of occurrence state and how it might come with enormous about ramificationsUsually an extrapolation of current trends Has the lowest probability of occurrence 21
    22. 22. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Backcasting Signpost Signpost Signpost Future Present “connect the dots” state Backcasting A method where a future state is envisioned and then a story is developed to explain how that particular future came to be Used to help develop plans to reach specific goals Good for investment plans and near-term work 22
    23. 23. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Five basic types of scenarios Things will continue much as they are now. Surprise-free They won’t become substantially better or worse. Optimistic Things will go considerably better than in (upside) the recent past. Pessimistic Something will go considerable worse than (downside) in the past. Things will go terrible wrong, and our Disaster situation will be far worse than anything we have previously experienced. Something spectacularly marvelous Transformation happens – something we never dared to expect.SOURCE: Futuring: The Exploration of the Future, Cornish, 2005 23
    24. 24. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012Scenario development methodology as described inThe Art of the Long View 1 Identify focal issue or decision 2 Identify key forces in the local environment 3 Identify driving forces 4 Rank by importance and uncertainty 5 Selecting scenario logics 6 Fleshing out the scenarios 7 Implications 8 Selection of leading indicators and signposts 24
    25. 25. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 1 Identify focal issue or decision What will decision-makers in your company be thinking hard about in the near future? What decisions have to be made that will have a long-term influence on the company? 25
    26. 26. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 2 Identify key forces in the local environment List the key factors influencing the success or failure of the decision listed in Step 1 What will decision makers want to know when making choices? What will be seen as a success or failure? 26
    27. 27. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 3 Identify driving forces List the driving forces in the macro-environment that influence the key factors identified in Steps 1 and 2 What are the forces behind the macro-environmental forces identified in Step 2? What are the major trends and emerging issues? 27
    28. 28. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 4 Rank by importance and uncertainty Identify the two or three factors that are the most important and most uncertain Key Factor or Driving Force Importance Uncertainty 28
    29. 29. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 5 Selecting scenario logics Critical Uncertainty #1 SCENARIO A SCENARIO B Critical Uncertainty #2 SCENARIO C SCENARIO D 29
    30. 30. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 6 Fleshing out the scenarios Create a narrative based on the pieces from prior steps How are things connected? How did the world get from there to here? What events might be necessary to make the end point plausible? Name your scenario 30
    31. 31. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 7 Implications How does the decision outlined in Step 1 look in each scenario? What vulnerabilities were revealed? Does the strategy or decision look good across all the scenarios, or just a few? How can current strategies be adapted to work in multiple scenarios? 31
    32. 32. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 8 Selection of leading indicators and signposts Identify indicators to monitor in an ongoing fashion Will help you to understand which scenario may be coming to pass 32
    33. 33. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012The big list of rules for great scenarios General Process Development Use Plan to plan – allow Always develop at least Keep it simple enough time for the four scenarios – but Don’t become paralyzed process don’t develop too many Good scenarios are Get support from Don’t settle for simple Don’t let them induce a both plausible and highest level of high, medium, and low sense of complacency surprising management scenarios Realize that even Make the decision Be aware of ending up Remember when to modest changes can makers own the with a “middle” or “most avoid scenarios have enormous impact scenarios likely” scenario altogether Learn from being totally Include a broad range of Scenarios must have wrong – revisit old functions and divisions catchy names scenarios Use imaginative people Don’t disregard extreme with open minds scenarios Don’t discard scenarios Listen to contrary voices too quickly Budget sufficient Avoid assigning resources for probabilities communicationsSOURCE: “The use and abuse of scenarios”, by Charles Roxburgh, McKinsey Quarterly, Nov 2009 33
    34. 34. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012 EXERCISE (MIT Future Freight Flows Scenarios)34
    35. 35. Telling Stories About the Future – Jarvis – MGT581 Business Foresight & Futuring, June 4-7, 2012EXERCISE – MIT Future Freight Flows Scenarios  Divide into 4 teams  Each take a scenario handout  Summarize the scenario for the class  Identify 3-4 drivers of change in the scenario  Describe how the scenarios would impact your chosen organization  TIME: ~40-45 min. 35

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