It’s nearly impossible to grasp the massive shifts we’re seeing all around us today. The growth of the global economy and explosion of communication technology have radically changed our world over the past ten years. In that same decade, 300,000 nonprofit organizations have been registered in the US at a time when lines between the public, private, and social sectors are getting blurrier by the day. The landscape is shifting under our feet and we’re dealing with more complex challenges than ever before.
Gone are the days of creating a plan and then executing it in a predictable, linear way. It’s the nonprofits that adapt quickly and manage their strategies dynamically that will succeed in the days ahead , and scenario planning can be just the thing to get you out of your box — making sense of your environment, generating new ideas, testing a strategy that is already in place, or just learning and adapting faster.
If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised to learn that scenario planning is not about predicting the future (a scenario virtually never happens the way you write it up). Instead, the process of imagining several potential futures will make you dramatically more aware of the forces acting on you and your organization today.