In his study of business scenario planning, The Art of Strategic Conversation (2005), Kees van der Heijden notes that:
[M]ost companies . . . have looming somewhere at the edge of their collective consciousness . . . the ‘big unarticulated issue.’ Everybody feels it, it is there, always present, the imminent threat or the un-seized opportunity . . . [S]o vast, so different from Business-As-Usual, that existing management thinking just can’t cope.
Climate change is probably the biggest “unarticulated issue” of them all. The implications of climate change are so large and so contrary to the “business-as-usual” course of our society since the Industrial Revolution that there is enormous uncertainty about how to think about climate risks. These risks don’t just stem from climate change itself. When it comes to business risks, for example, they also stem from policy measures that we might implement to address climate change, adding to already high levels of uncertainty about the future.
Scenarios and scenario planning are a proven approach for comprehending and preparing for future uncertainty. As van der Heijden also notes:
If properly developed and institutionalised a set of scenarios can be the institutional “memories of the future” to help organisations perceive their environment. They are an efficient vehicle for making sense out of a large amount of data and information. . . . The concept of using multiple storylines to encapsulate learning is powerful.
Using our Climate Web™ knowledge base, the Climatographers can help develop climate risk scenarios customized to the needs of specific organizations or planning objectives. We can also provide training in scenario planning to help set the stage for the development of climate risk scenarios.