An obscure writer, a former sailor, wrote a novel where a huge transatlantic liner – reputedly unsinkable – strikes an iceberg and flounders with many hands on board… This novel was written 14 years BEFORE the Titanic was to meet its fate…
Was it a premonition? Given the author’s experience as a sailor, the plot was entirely plausible. The many unsettling similarities between this work of fiction and reality should encourage you to regain control of your decision-making process and make use of scenarios. Do you feel reassured when you hand decision-making over to experts assisted by artificial intelligence and big data? These are clearly useful, vital and illuminating, but you shouldn’t ignore the help that scenario-based work can offer.
In the 1970s, after OPEC was created, Shell worked with a futurist to develop and deploy a range of hypotheses about how oil prices would evolve. The company was then able to react quickly when the Yom Kippur War in 1973 provoked a steep rise in the price of oil.
And you too should allow yourself to use scenarios and play with them. Even if they end up being wrong, they will help you plan ahead. Who knows, perhaps one of them will turn out to be very close to the real thing!
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