Is it possible to apply your scenario planning method to a personal life’s scenario writing?

Dear Michael

Thank you for your kind comments – I am glad you found my articles interesting.

Futures thinking is just as applicable for individuals as for organizations (although most of my work has been with organizations). I have heard it said that successful people are more likely to have written down an explicit statement of their goals. This is plausible even in the simple sense that if you know exactly what you want to achieve you are more likely to get there than if you haven’t really thought it through.

But I would also say that personal visioning is probably more immediately useful than personal scenarios (assuming we are talking about scenarios in the usual sense). What I mean by visioning is imagining, in general terms at first, and then in increasingly greater detail, exactly what you personally want and aspire to achieve, and writing it down. You might also think about why you want those things, and whether they are good for the world as well as simply for yourself. You could then backcast from the goals to see what potential action pathways there are that could take you there.

If everyone did this the world might indeed be a happier place. And yes, I do think about the future of my own life, and I do write down my own goals!

Very best wishes


– Hardin is CEO of Synthesys Strategic Consulting Ltd. in London, and he is an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University, where he co-teaches the executive education Scenarios Programme.


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