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Disruptive Scenarios - Operator Price Plans

by Richard Guppy | Jul 20, 2015

Scenarios are ‘the formal expression of uncertainty’.  Scenarios respond to the fact that, as physicist Nils Bohr said, ‘prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future’.  Yet if it is difficult to make precise predictions, it is easier to define a set of possible, alternative futures, depending on how a number of key factors develop. The challenge then is to select the right key factors.  Even those are not guaranteed of course; but they make us better prepared for more than just ‘the one, official future’.

I had the privilege of learning how to create scenarios years ago from a major Motorola corporate strategy project, led by scenario guru Peter Schwarz’s team (Global Business Network); and by learning a short-form version under the leadership of Professor Bill Weinstein of Henley Business School.  I’ve conducted many scenario sessions, where groups of managers brainstorm what different futures might look like (‘what if…?’), where they explore key variables driving those futures, and then create stories around each future and test its consequences for their company and their strategy.

“Our strategy is good if the Official Future does indeed take place.  But what if a Disruptive Future develops – do we need to modify our strategy in preparation, or create backup strategies?”

Now, I would like to bring that experience to SCIm, by offering a series of Disruptive Scenarios addressing issues that may disrupt the ICT industry.  The first of these is ‘Telco Price Plans’, addressing the impact of key variables Competition and Regulation on operators’ goals and strategies. 

Readers will be able to take SCIm’s Telco Price Plan Disruptive Scenario and use it to start or enrich a discussion around how their strategies fit each of the four separate future worlds described.  The 'official future' of many operators is 'Just For You', after early development in 'New Deals'.  Market and regulatory pressures push operators towards 'Buckets' and 'Meltdown'.  To operators I would say: Where is your market?  Where are you and what is your official trajectory?  Do you think those two things work together?  And, what if the market changes?  SCIm is ready to help develop those conversations.

Disruptive Scenarios: Operator Price Plans

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