Drawing a strategic direction of impact based on scenarios

The finding of a vision and a strategy is one of the central steps in the alignment of companies, a strategic business unit or an organization. At this step, the results of the present interpretation (strategic analysis), the interpretation of future frame conditions (external scenarios) as well as the interpretation of its own options for actions converge (strategy scenario). Especially the two future perspectives should be linked with one another.

Linking of external and strategy scenarios in a future matrix

Having developed external and strategy scenarios, the uncertainty was separately and independently examined concerning two different directions. The external scenarios illustrate possible frame conditions for the development of industries, markets and the global environment, whereas strategy scenarios concentrate on the companies’ options for action. During the process of finding a vision and strategy, the suitability of strategy scenarios of the particular external scenarios will be evaluated and drawn in a future matrix. Thanks to the matrix, we are able to answer the following two questions:

  • How robust is a possible strategy? Having a look at a single line, the robustness of a complex option for action against an unsecure external development can be examined. Insofar, the matrix also contains a strategy evaluation. This is the case, when a strategy scenario depicts the current strategy.
  • Which strategy scenario suits a specific environment? Having a look at a single column it becomes clear which strategy scenarios are suitable in a specific situation.

Through dialogue to a strategic direction of impact

The future matrix offers – under consideration of further criteria as future expectations, superior company goals and available resources – a proper base for a future oriented strategic dialogue for leaders. At this step, it is set whether the strategic direction if impact is based on an expected scenario (focused planning) or whether it considers more scenarios (future robust planning).

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