Monday 23 February 2009

HR scenario planning


In my last post, I wrote that I'd be looking at whether a 'global reset' is likely to take place, and if so, what form it's likely to take.  However, I still don't feel I have a strong handle on how likely this is - I still see a lot of signs that business leaders and HR practitioners are considering how thing may need to be quite different in the future, but also an approximately equal number of signs suggesting that people are returning to their previous positions (albeit in a rather less buoyant state).  So rather than predicting a single likely future with little understanding of how likely this is, I will provide a few different scenarios.

First however, I'd like to describe the use of scenario planning in business, and HR.  This is a technique originally used by Shell and which helped them predict the first oil price shocks of the 1970s (unfortunately, I don't know anyone who used it successfully to predict the current recession!).  I use a methodology described by a former manager at Andersen Consulting, Rob Baldock, in his book Destination Z, which requires the identification of two major axis for the ‘logics’, representing the most influential and the most uncertain factors facing an organisation.

A relevant business example of this is McKinsey's illustration of hard, harder and hardest times from their recent article, Leading through Uncertainty:


McKinsey scenarios 


And some recent HR examples include PwC's Managing Tomorrow's People: The Future of Work to 2020:


PWC Scenarios


and SHRM's scenarios for the future of HRM in 2015:


SHRM scenarios



I'll continue in my next post looking at scenarios for HR in the current environment.



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