scenario planning with SRI

Stanford Research Institute have a quasi-commercial consulting arm. William Ralston, the VP of Consulting there, led a workshop in Scenario Planning this morning, using a fictional Telco as a context, and future WiFi opportunities as a problem.

The workshop was a pretty straightforward run through the classic scenario-building process, but could have been a lot more ‘interactive’. It was mostly lecture, where I think the group would have got a lot more out of it if he had run through more exercises. A couple of the attendees, inclduing a guy from Vodafone US and another from Accenture, seemed to be having trouble grasping the whole concept of scenario building, and I think they would have understood betting by doing, not listening… Still, it was a good refresher, and made me determined to set in process a programme of sessions for a few groups at work.

We also discussed one scenario that reminded me of a presentation I once gave on modalities in mobile use. I think it was at a pitch to a UK 3G company a couple of years ago, when they had (misguided) ambitions to develop content. I got into a bit of a spat with their head of location-based services. I was saying that users’ modalities (what they were doing) where more interesting and relevant that an absolute location. He was adamant that location was paramount, and it wasn’t until later that I found out that he used to be in the army. That would explain his preference for abstract co-ordinates over the fuzzier, but more human, ‘modality’ concept…

One comment

  1. Alistair

    Sounds interesting. What were the possible reactions by a telco to the WiFi opportunity?

    Oh, and the guy at the UK 3G company (army guy), he now heads all of the products at that 3G company.

    Should help that modality angle out!

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