Jay Ogilvy: Beyond Optimism/Beyond Pessimism: Plotting the Future

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Beyond Optimism/Beyond Pessimism: Plotting the Future

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Jay Ogilvy: Beyond Optimism/Beyond Pessimism: Plotting the Future

  1. 1. Facing the Fold Jay Ogilvy Writing the Future WDC March 20, 2010
  2. 2. Overview  •  The eclipse of utopia  •  Four stances toward historical 6me and  futurity  •  Facing the fold  •  Construc6ng scenarios   •  Communica6ng scenarios  •  The scenaric stance 
  3. 3. Stances toward 6me and futurity  •  Tradi6onal, cyclical, 6me as “the moving  image of eternity”  •  Modernity, progressive, op6mis6c  •  Postmodernism, pessimis6c, decline  •  A fourth turning, facing the fold, a scenaric  stance 
  4. 4. Model of Aggression in Dogs  Growling C Attacking B Behavior Surface Avoiding Retreating A Behavior Control C RAG E Surface Bifurcation Set A B
  5. 5. Facing the Fold  Improvement C Utopia B Behavior Surface Decline Disaster A Behavior Control C Optim ism Surface Bifurcation Set A B
  6. 6. “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” —Ken Olsen, president of DEC, 1977
  7. 7. “Internal sales forecast for PCs for the 1980s: 295,000. Actual sales for PCs in the 1980s: over 25,000,000.” —IBM, 1979
  8. 8. “Anyone who thinks the ANC is going to run South Africa is living in cloud cuckoo land.” —Margaret Thatcher, 1987
  9. 9. Who would have guessed that . . .  •  Apartheid would end in South Africa  •  Oil prices would drop in 1986  •  The Cold War would end   •  Iraq would raid Kuwait 
  10. 10. What Are Scenarios?  •  Scenarios are devices for ordering one’s  percep6ons about alterna6ve environments in  which one’s decisions might be played out.  Their power comes from being focused.  •  Effec6ve scenarios are always “customized to  context.” 
  11. 11. Developing Scenarios   Focal issue   Key factors   Environmental   Early indicators  forces   Scenario  logics   Implica5ons   Cri5cal  and op5ons  uncertain5es   Scenarios 
  12. 12. Step Four: Rank Cri6cal Uncertain6es  • Each team member has 25 virtual poker chips   to spend   • Individually allocate chips according to:  X importance X X uncertainty
  13. 13. Scenarios for healthcare reform 
  14. 14. Step Six: Tell the Stories  An ancient art form whose relevance and power   is being rediscovered today...  When a manager comes to me, I don’t ask him “What’s the problem?” I say, “Tell me a story.” That way I find out what the problem really is. —Avram Goldberg •  An ancient and enduring way of making and communicating meaning •  Underpins many professions—lawyers, historians, politicians… •  Key in business context too—increasingly recognized by, e.g. 3M •  High cognitive and emotional impact, and memorable •  Simplifies complexity •  Blends the familiar with the novel to create fresh perspectives
  15. 15. Some Familiar Plots  o  Winners and losers  o  Crisis and response  o  Good news and bad news  o  Evolu6onary change  o  Revolu6onary change  o  Cycles 
  16. 16. Elements of a Good Story  o  Beginning, middle, and end  o  Timeless adventure  o  Quest  o  Coming of age  –  Hero departs, experiences  difficulty, performs a deed   or experiences a revela6on,  and is changed somehow  –  Denouement, resolu6on 
  17. 17. The Power of Stories  Preliminary Preliminary Appetite Name Species Hair/Fur Age Size Porridge Mattress Level Assessment Assessment Goldi-locks Human Blonde 8 Moderate Petite N/A N/A Papa Bear Brown 12 High Big Too Hot Too Hard Mama Bear Tawny 11 Moderate Medium Too Cold Too Soft Red- Baby Bear 3 Low Small Just Right Just Right Brown
  18. 18. The Power of Stories  Once
upon
a
time,
there
was
a
 little
girl
named
Goldilocks.

She

 went
for
a
walk
in
the
forest.

 Pretty
soon,
she
came
upon
a
 house.

She
knocked
and,
when
 no
one
answered,
she
walked
right
 in.
At
the
table
in
the
kitchen,
there
 were
three
bowls
of
porridge.
 Goldilocks
was
hungry.

She
 tasted
the
porridge
from
the
first
 bowl.

 “This
porridge
is
too
hot!”
she
 exclaimed…

  19. 19. Virtues and advantages of the scenaric stance  •  An acute sense of freedom  •  Intellectual honesty  •  Deliberate intent with a sense of the  stakes  •  Emo6onal depth  •  A subtle frame of mind 
  20. 20. Thank you  Jay Ogilvy  j.a.ogilvy@gmail.com 

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