Business Strategy Coach - Scenario Planning Can Mitigate Effect of Economic Change

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Strategic planning professional encourages businesses to prepare for critical uncertainties.

an invaluable opportunity to have a strategic discussion around key drivers and critical uncertainties in their operating environment.

Business strategy coach Erica Olsen warns that the current subprime credit market crisis and associated housing market slump could have far reaching effects on seemingly unrelated businesses. Olsen specializes in strategic planning facilitation and coaching small and medium-size businesses in scenario and continuity planning.

Scenario planning was first developed and used by the U.S. Air Force during World War II, and it gained acknowledgment in the business world when Shell Oil utilized scenario planning techniques to predict the oil crisis of the 1970s. Olsen says that scenario planning provides businesses "an invaluable opportunity to have a strategic discussion around key drivers and critical uncertainties in their operating environment."

She adds, "Scenario planning is a way of simplifying a complex future by providing you the opportunity to ask the 'what if' questions and to rehearse how you may respond should a certain event or trend happen in the future." Many businesses consider themselves removed from the big national headlines or immune to the business slow down, but Olsen cautions that "everyone should consider the ramifications of any economic change".

Typical scenario planning sessions involve addressing the driving forces - significant trends like social dynamics, and economic, political and technological issues likely to affect the larger world - along with the smaller scenarios that may hit closer to home. And lest scenario planning invoke only negative associations, Olsen notes that it's not only about preparing for unexpected threats but also trying to foresee unanticipated opportunities. "With scenario planning, you're imagining not just one, but a variety of future possibilities. All the great opportunities in the world aren't enough unless you have contingencies in place."

Erica Olsen is an owner of M3 Planning, Inc, a nationwide leader in on-demand strategic planning tools and services, and she was named Entrepreneur of the Year by The Business Report of Northern Nevada (February 2007). Through M3 Planning's online client base and onsite strategic planning facilitation work, Erica has developed and reviewed hundreds of strategic plans for organizations across the country. She has also authored several strategic planning books including Strategic Planning for Dummies and is a developer of MyStrategicPlan, a web-based system that helps organizations develop and manage their strategic plan.

M3 Planning is a strategic planning firm that works with growth-oriented organizations to develop and execute their strategic plans. Strategic planning helps you pave the most direct path towards your vision while driving growth and saving you time and money. For more information please visit or To schedule an interview, or request book copies please contact Matthew Kennard at (775) 747-7407.


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