Thursday, 1 August 2013

Scenarios can’t predict the future, so what’s the point?

Scenarios can’t predict the future, so what’s the point? Quite right scenarios can't predict the future but what they can do is call on an institution's knowledge of itself and the wider global context to gain an invaluable insight into what may or may not affect it's success into the future.
Emma Stewart in her article did, however state that there are multiple risks (leveling and combining attributes and values as an example) in doing this and carries the very real possibility of missing the mark completely.
In saying this many multi national institutions have used Scenario Planning to identify possibilities in the future that would have very real consequences for the future and through identifying them they were able to navigate around them and/ or seize the opportunities that were created as a result. Shell is a prime example of this as they proffered during the 1970s oil crisis while other companies floundered and failed.
Scenario Planning has a place in New Zealand schools and schools could reap the benefits of instituting such a practice. However, as a Principal, the difficulty is how do i make this a priority? Where do i find the time to work 'on' my school with the constant demands on me to work 'in' my school.


  1. Hey Chris,

    Your point about time is key! I like your distinction between 'on' and 'in'.

    From your view as a Principal, do you see largely the same scenarios being applicable to most NZ schools? Would there be value in school leaders getting together with some of the powers that be and doing SP together?....ideal world, I know, but do you think there would be benefit in something like that, given the support of an oh-so-supportive government? Or is it something you feel is better down at an individual school level?

    Phillipa :)

  2. You perspective as school leader is extremely valuable for our group. Striking the right balance between "on" and "in" is not easy. That's what differentiates leaders from administrators ;-)