Source: Harvard Business Review
Thinking about the future is hard, mainly because we are glued to the present. Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, observed that decision makers get stuck in a memory loop and can only predict the future as a reflection of the past. He labels this dynamic the “narrative fallacy” – you see the future as merely a slight variation on yesterday’s news. A way around this fallacy, we’ve found, is a speed-dating version of scenario planning, one that takes hours rather than months.
Consider the experiment we recently ran with an expert panel to jump-start fresh thinking about the future. Our guinea pigs consisted of life sciences executives from big pharma, biotech entrepreneurs, and academics.
The question we asked: How might a shortage of science, technical, engineering, and math (STEM) talent affect the growth of life sciences companies? The high-speed scenario workshop involved three steps: 1) Identify key story elements or drivers of the STEM talent “story” to be explored; 2) conceive a plausible future by combining the elements; and 3) explore this future to understand its implications for their businesses.