Prof. Dr. Jan Oliver Schwarz presented at Warwick Business School
On December 14, AMD Professor of General Management Jan Oliver Schwarz made a presentation at a conference on Scenario Planning held at the Warwick Business School, a leading UK management school.
Scenario Planning was developed by Royal/Dutch Shell some 40 years ago, in an effort to combine strategic management with scenarios. The essence of Scenario Planning is that alternative pictures of the future are created to allow organizations to plan for them, to develop robust strategies and to become sensitized to uncertainties in the business environment which have the potential to evolve either into an opportunity or a threat.
Jan Oliver Schwarz presented a paper that he coauthored with Prof. René Rohrbeck from Denmark’s Aarhus School of Business and Dr. Camelia Ram from Decision Strategies International, on the question of how the competitor perspective can be included in Scenario Planning. Their rationale is that while scenarios might help to understand how the future could evolve, they shed little light on competitor dynamics. Who will be my competitors? Will there be new competitors and if so, how will they act and react? These are among the dominant questions for today’s managers. Jan’s presentation suggested playing out scenarios in dynamic strategic simulations to gain insights into future competitor dynamics, suggesting that managers from one firm role-play their competitors by stepping into their shoes.
The conference, attended by international scholars and practitioners, emphasizes the importance of Scenario Planning in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world.