【Column】"Fruture oriented behavior: Importance of the prepared mind"


"Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind." The quote of French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur clearly gets to the point. In order to capture unexpected suddenly emerging changes, strategic planner needs to be ready and prepared, otherwise he or she would miss the potential opportunity in the future.

Many management professionals and specialists make predictive remarks regarding to the future landscape based on assumption of steady market growth. The real issue is that most of industries would be not in the state of stable development but in radical and disruptive changes. 

The best way to acquire the prepared mind is to simulate what an alternative future happens to be. Those ways are all called in a variety of the forms such as War game, scenario planning, futurology, memories of the future. On the one hand, War game focuses on the basis of dynamic battles to differentiate others from competitors' perspectives. 

On the other hand, scenario planning focuses on simulation of strategic options in a basis of driving forces and uncertainties from own company's' perspectives. 

In the case of scenario planning since 1970's, Royal Dutch Shell had utilized scenario planning with the prepared mind of assuming the oil crisis in the future. It generated and evaluated effective decision by foreseeing overcapacity of the oil tanker and of Europe's petrochemicals. With scenario planning, Royal Dutch Shell successfully minimized the impact of oil shock by reducing the amount of new investment of the oil tanker. 

Regardless of what those forms of predicting the future are called, the core concept of those remains almost same: the concept to acquire and shape up the prepare mind effectively in the future. The quote of Louis Pasteur, "the prepared mind" is getting more than important, and becoming one of crucial factor for all strategic planners. Future oriented behavior: Memories of the future