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Scenario Analysis: The "What If" Tool
Wouldn't it have been nice if Fanny & Freddie, the financial community, the Federal Reserve and congress had a tool available to anticipate what could happen if residential property prices fell over 20%? Well such a tool does exist. It's called scenario analysis.
Sadly the "financial and political powers that be" never thought through the consequences of such an event and how they might have mitigated the related impact. If they had, there might be less fear, anxiety and uncertainty in the national and international financial markets.
Scenario analysis supposes a hypothetical situation as a way to drive virtual learning. It anticipates potential outcomes whether or not the envisioned event will actually occur. Its power comes from the opportunity to explore potential outcomes and reactions in a "safe mode."
Despite all our technology and sophisticated systems, it's sobering how often human fallibility, ignorance or arrogance comes into play. We do usually learn a lesson but too often it's the hard way. I live in Florida where the coordinated response to hurricanes has been honed into a relatively effective system. And it was impressive to see how the response to this year's hurricane in New Orleans was vastly improved over Hurricane Katrina. That's the benefit from scenario analysis and follow up planning.
Wouldn't it be preferable to learn virtually without going through the pain of an actual event? Scenario analysis can help.
Even for your organization, scenario analysis is a good anticipatory learning tool. We are generally prepared to handle the subtle changes and variations in our operations. It's the bigger or more unusual events that are the bigger challenge. Thinking through a scenario stretches the mind, broadens your coping skills and builds communication within your team. Even if it's a once a year exercise you'll learn and enjoy the experience. Place this one high on your New Year list of organizational resolutions.
Quote & Note
A reminder of the importance of life-long learning and the incredible opportunity that reading provides to expand our horizons, learn new ways of thinking, build new skills, or simply enjoy life through the eyes of others. Go grab that book you've been promising to read, today. Enjoy the wonderful world between the covers.
Gattuso's Extension of Murphy's Law:
The lesson here is NEVER challenge worse by saying things can't get worse. Because once you say it, they invariably do. Whether it's the current financial markets, the political mess in Washington, or the new CRM system that is being installed at work, be prepared for the possibility that things could deteriorate further. Word hard to move things in a preferred direction and don't let setbacks demoralize you. Keep on pushing!
Prior Plan-Perform-Score (PPS) Article Published
We are pleased that the feature article in the July 2008 issue of PPS "What are the Disconnects in Your Organization" has been published in the Fall 2008 issue of The FORUM, the quarterly newsletter of Renaissance Executive Forums. Renaissance is a national CEO peer group resource for corporate leaders committed to superior performance and organizational development. You can access the article at: http://www.executiveforums.com/enews/newsdetail.asp?ID=392
Check this out:
Would you like to have a dedicated research team? Would you like to have one for free? Well you can. Visit Google Alerts to request e-mail updates on any subject, person, industry or event to be sent to you on the frequency your desire. Obviously not all the items sent to you will be relevant but once in awhile a "gem" will appear. Google's Alert service is both informative and entertaining. Happy searching.
We welcome your feedback on this and all issues of Plan-Perform-Score! Please e-mail your comments to: GPashke@PashkeConsulting.com