Ulrich Golüke – Scenarios: How to create them and Why you should

August 8, 2016 14:35

Take a look at “Ulrich Golüke – Scenarios: How to create them and Why you should” on Managementboek.nl. (You are sponsoring the Dutch Future Society for free by placing your order at Managementboek through this link!)

By Freija van Duijne

This little booklet about scenario planning has such a friendly appearance. The moment I knew about it, I had to read it. This is a short story of indeed, how to create scenarios. Golüke is impressed when working with young people. So he had them in mind when writing this book. Right in the beginning of it, he makes some very valuable statements about scenario planning. Some of them not unique, but words that resonate in deepening your understanding about the value of scenarios. Despite the long history of scenario planning, it is still a complex instrument and difficult to use for many organizations. Here comes Golüke’s book, telling you step by step how this methods works from a practitioners’ point of view.

Before diving into the how, he starts to explain what scenarios can do for you. He talks about how everything changes and that you want to focus on the relevant things and not on all the noise and clutter. Here he nicely refers to a recent book The Signal and the Noise about the science of prediction. Golüke emphasizes that scenarios help not only to see that context better, but to create it.

After this introduction, the remainder of the book addresses the process of creating and using scenarios. As a context, he presents a frame that will stick with you for the rest of the book. He describes scenario building as a process of moving back and forth from the general to the specific, from openness to closure and from chaos to creativity. In the subsequent chapters he explains the seven subsequent phases in this process.

I have found it very interesting to take a look in Golüke’s kitchen and see how he does the cooking job in his projects. First of all, I am very impressed, and perhaps a bit envious, about the intensity of the projects and his way of working. Thirty or more interviews, word by word transcriptions, multiple day workshops in each phase. Yes this is a very thorough method, almost the ideal world of scenario planning. But also for more condensed projects with time and budget restrictions, there are lessons here. Golüke shows how to involve a group in finding meaning, the signal if you like, in a plethora of data from interviews and group sessions. He explains how to move the process through the subsequent stages and keeping everybody on board. His description of the final stage of considering strategic responses in the light of the scenarios is very detailed and useful.

The method for scenario planning in this book is the traditional two axis model with the four quadrants. While this is a widely used method, there is a growing number of strategic foresight practitioners who are looking for alternative approaches. However, in the public eye scenario planning is synonym to the two axis model. It would have been nice if Golüke had mentioned some of the other approaches to inform people that there is a wider range of approaches to scenario planning. All in all, this is a very nice book to get an understanding of scenario planning and see the practice up close.

Take a look at “Ulrich Golüke – Scenarios: How to create them and Why you should” on Managementboek.nl. (You are sponsoring the Dutch Future Society for free by placing your order at Managementboek through this link!)


About Freija van Duijne


This review is part of the collaboration between the Dutch Future Society and Managementboek. If you intend to buy the book, please complete your purchase through this link and support the Dutch Future Society.

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