You have a strategic plan. You work with focus on your institutional goals and priorities. But when sudden and surprising, big paradigm-shifting stuff happens, you’re still not prepared.
We’ve all been there. We just spent the last two years there, muddling through the pandemic and the way it forced us to make quick decisions with insufficient time to plan.
There’s another way, though: using stories to develop scenarios about potential futures, and then “rehearsing” those futures as a means of preparing — deciding what impact these stories will have for our industry and your institution, and determining ahead of time how you might respond.
You can even use scenario planning in conjunction with your strategic plan. In fact, scenario planning can help you be even more effective with your mid- and long-term strategies because the stories you create will help you prepare for changes as they emerge, making it easier to pivot and still get where you want to go.
In this episode I’ll walk you through seven steps you can take to get to good stories about the future by convening diverse teams, preparing them to be vulnerable, and keeping your stories alive. I’ve also included a “tip sheet” for you — a guide to what your planning could look like — that you can download, share with your team, and use as a starting point.
Follow these steps and download (and share!) my FREE resource guide to help your institution plan by telling and rehearsing stories about what the future could look like.
Here’s a glance at this episode:
>> 1:29. Welcome! Do I have Covid?
>> 1:59. How my low-key obsession with the Dobbs ruling prompted today’s focus on planning.
>> 2:48. The magic of stories and an impassioned plea to use them in your planning.
>> 4:24. The Art of the Long View by Peter Schwartz.
>> 6:54. Four steps for using storytelling as a tool for building scenarios to plan for the future.
>> 8:38. Seven team-building steps to follow for using storytelling to plan.
>> 9:04. Step 1: Prioritize diversity.
>> 11:37. Step 2: Choose your direction.
>> 15:00. Step 3: Write your shitty first draft.
>> 17:39. Step 4: Revise.
>> 18:43. Step 5: Identify the impact of each story.
>> 19:48. Step 6: Rehearse the future.
>> 21:33. Step 7: Repeat the rehearsal with regularity.
>> 22:33. Why planning is so important NOW, even if we don’t know what the heck is going on in the world.
Grab the guide, “Planning for an Uncertain Future Through Storytelling” here. Download and feel free to share copies with your team.
The Art of the Long View: Planning for the future in an uncertain world, a book by Peter Schwartz.
Scenario-Planning for the Future, by the Long Now Foundation. (kind of a Cliffs Notes version of Schwartz’s book) @Medium.
The Diversity Bonus: How great teams pay off in the knowledge economy, a book by Scott Page.
What Functional Leaders Should Know About Scenario Planning, by Jackie Wiles @Garnter.
Rehearsing the Future: Making Better Strategic Decisions, an article by David Seaman and Liz Barnham @B2B International.
Shitty First Drafts, an excerpt from the book Bird by Bird, by Ann Lamott.
US: Roe Ruling ‘Latest’ to Impact International Student Decisions, an article by Abigail Lindblade @The PIE News
Republican States Saw Big Drops in Overseas Students Under Trump, an article by Ellie Bothwell @Times Higher Education.
Roe-Reversal Exposes the Ever-Growing Value Gap Between US and Allies, an article by Christina Lu @Foreign Policy.
Global Survey Highlights Increasing Importance of Student Supports During the Pandemic, an article at ICEF Monitor.
A Second Demographic Cliff Adds Urgency for Change, an article by Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed.
The Demographic Cliff is Already Here, And It’s About to Get Worse, an article @ EAB.
Colleges Can Steer Away from Higher Ed’s Demographic Cliff, an article by Andy Hannah @Higher Ed Dive.
The Demographic Cliff Goes Well Beyond Traditional Undergrads, an article by Scott Jeffe @Ruffalo Noel Levitz.
Could Clarence Thomas’s Dobbs Concurrence Signal a Future Attack on LGBTQ Rights? by Zak Beauchamp, @Vox.
In Roe decision, Justice Clarence Thomas Invites New Legal Challenges to Contraception and Same-Sex Marriage Rights, by James Barragan, @The Texas Tribune.
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