BEP 367 – Scenario Planning 1: Exploring the Situation
Play • 24 min

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on scenario planning meetings.

How do we plan for a future that’s so uncertain? On a global scale, we’re faced with a pandemic, climate change, social unrest, and political instability. On a local level, your business could be dealing with another set of challenges. So how can we plan for what might happen in the future?

One of the approaches that organizations take in uncertain times is scenario planning. In a nutshell, scenario planning involves discussing different possible future situations, and planning for each possibility. This kind of planning typically starts with exploring the situation.

Exploring the situation often involves a lot of speculation, as you discuss what might happen in the future. This helps you identify the key uncertainties you’re contending with. Of course, circumstances differ from place to place, so you may find yourself explaining contextual differences when you plan for different scenarios.

These discussions can be quite complex, so it’s often a good idea to ask for a summary of the issues. One more very important aspect of scenario planning is using evidence to guide the discussion. In some cases, you will need to use this evidence to counter other people’s optimism about the future.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a scenario planning discussion in a large retail firm. Gwen is in a leadership position in the company’s US headquarters. She’s talking with Natasha and Daniel, two executives based in another country. The company is faced with the enormous challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presents. And in this discussion, they’re exploring the entire situation.

Listening Questions

1. At the start of the conversation, what government relief program does Natasha speculate about?
2. What does Daniel say is one of the biggest uncertainties they’re facing?
3. What possible change does Daniel believe might happen but Natasha doesn’t?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson ModuleThe post BEP 367 – Scenario Planning 1: Exploring the Situation first appeared on Business English Pod (MP3 Audio Only).
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