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    Scenario planning also works in managing responsibility

    What is required for proper management of responsibility in business? One of the most important things is to understand how responsibility as a megatrend affects the behavior of different stakeholders. These connections and their effects need to be built into scenarios, so that you know, for example, what things need to be changed to meet various criteria in your and your customers' business.

    When you plan scenarios, you take into account what is known, facts and probabilities, you analyze the effects and envision outlooks and corresponding alternative paths that can be chosen as needed. These models designed in advance act as high-level tools - you have thought out which plan to launch in each situation. If modeling is not done in advance, situations come up so quickly that actions can be reactive or chaotic, and one can easily go with others in a direction that may not be the best for the company.

    You must lead and manage responsibility

    There is a multitude of dimensions to take into account, many of which are company-independent. One must estimate and predict the likelihood of realization of the scenarios, and prepare for the most probable ones. This is not random forecasting, but making and updating assessments based on facts and analysis. Action will be taken based on the currently most likely scenario. At the same time, one understands that at some point, one may turn into another direction.

    The scenarios are subject to the necessary decisions at regular intervals of six months or a year, and those that are promoted are selected. The company needs to plan how accountability is set up in the operations, what the mandates are, and how to measure and monitor progress. Responsibility should be part of the standard result and strategy monitoring just as sales and business results are tracked. The bigger the topic is strategically, the more critical it is that someone in the management of the company owns it, rather than sharing accountability. This also applies to responsibility in business.

    Team diversity helps you see more paths

    In scenario planning, there are possibilities to find positive opportunities in addition to preparing for threats. Not all effects are negative, and you need to be able to evaluate them analytically as well. You must be able to incorporate into scenarios new opportunities that can be taken up for innovation. Excellent scenario planning observes the same instruction as good leadership and teamwork generally: the strength of the team comes from people of different strengths. Some see the risks, others see the opportunities, and these different perspectives need to be incorporated in the planning. At the same time, collaboration and professional and analytical culture are required.

    By managing responsibility through scenario planning, we can build and lead business durably. It's easy to get caught up in a cycle of negativity where you lose rationality, or reactively choose a direction that is unrelated to the strategy. This can be avoided by being an active operator who makes plans. After all, this precisely is responsibility: taking responsibility, anticipating, being actively involved. You need to be smart and act early, not when the milk is already spilled.




    Henry Nieminen