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Navigating in a Rough Sea
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by Franz Tessun 00 The Future

Decision Making in Complex and Uncertain Business Environments

This paper shows the need of a totally different thinking. There are three sectors of thinking:

a) network thinking
b) future open thinking
c) strategic thinking.

It will be shown that only the combination of these three parts of thinking is able to deal in an efficient and economic way with the future and that the combination is necessary for making decisions in a complex and uncertain environment (Navigating in a Rough Sea). More, the markets and customers are changing so fast and a lot of trends tell us that the markets and demands will change quicker and quicker so that we cannot work anymore with our old traditional decision making instruments. Some examples will be shown where you can see how to handle with complexity and uncertainty in different decisive situations.

One of the most difficult and challenging questions is to recognize the risks and crisis earlier than the competitors. An even difficult question is to find the opportunities in the markets and how to use them. These questions will be answered with an early warning system. This early warning system will help to think in alternatives. You can "fore think" a lot of opportunities and risks in the markets using a strategic early warning system.

The systematic approach can be supported by the Future Scorecard which is explained in detail in this paper.

Why should we deal with future?
Although the mankind has been interested in the future for centuries and has in- vented countless methods and procedures for purportedly forecasting the future, to the present day it has not succeeded in making the future predictable. You cannot know the future and it remains unforeseeable, which is demonstrated by all the (wrong) forecasts of recent years. Nevertheless, the managers are forced to shape the future here and now to prepare actively their enterprise for the uncertain future. How can this dilemma be solved? How can an enterprise react on the increasing complexity of its environment shortly described with keywords like globalization, market saturation, short product life cycles? How can an enterprise control the consequences of an increased complexity of markets, of product and technology development and of socio-cultural and political environment? The complexity deposits in an accelerating dynamic, in short following trends and in a high intensity of change.

The answer to these questions is: we can and must create the prerequisites for preventive actions through preventive thinking. The strategic future oriented business management plays a more and more important role in a world which is labeled by turbulences and disruptive structures, because the experiences of the past and the presence play a totally unimportant role. The change cycles of business success potentials and established brands are becoming shorter and shorter. The enterprise will loose the competition, if its managers are not able to identify the essential change drivers very early and if they are not able to influence positively these drivers for its own interest.

You can download the full article as *.pdf file: Click here

Visit also the sections with books, articles and links.

See also Summit for the Future 2005

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