Ursula Eysin is the Founder and CEO of RedSwan, a consultancy agency that brings to life the various outcomes that may come about from a specific course of action. When uncertain about what path to take, use the Scenario Thinking technique to map out the possible outcomes. This method of creative thinking forces people to use innovation and helps them create actionable game plans for their goals. In addition to working with clients at Red Swan, Ursula spends her time mentoring various international startups on the best way to gain momentum.
Ursula knows that no one can predict the future. That is not the purpose or intent of what she does. What Ursula does for her clients is help them create the future they want by taking specific steps towards their goals. The end goal is to accept the uncertainty that everyone feels at one point or another and turn it into an advantage. The purpose of scenario thinking is to create awareness. Ursula points out that not all outcomes are positive, but that doesn’t mean you are pessimistic. Instead, it’s looking at what’s happening in the world through clear lenses. Seeing how it will affect your business and then understanding that things may not get better. You need to figure out how to best prepare for what is in your future. The process used in scenario thinking brings about self-awareness, and then Ursula steps in to help her clients take action.
When you bring a group of like-minded intelligent people together and discuss future possibilities, they run through the various possible scenarios. You get to tap into people’s intuition and share ideas. The purpose is to try to capture what motivates people. What are the values they have? How are they connecting as humans? Are they isolating themselves?
The technique works by starting with typical scenarios that ask a slew of questions that uncovers what Ursula calls “driving forces” by asking three questions:
- If you could look into the future, what would you like to know?
- If the future unfolded according to your wishes, what would it look like?
- If the future unfolded not according to plan, what would concern you?
The next step is to use an impact uncertainty map, a matrix of some sort. On one side, you have the balance of certainty and how it affects the driving force. And on the other side, you have the impact of the possible solution. When you begin to analyze specific trends, these are things you can project into the future. You get to explore every possible outcome that can happen and then figure out how you would deal with it if it came to fruition. This way, you are more prepared for the future. This process allows you to uncover people’s hidden motivations that are their driving force for change.
Knowing your actions’ possible outcomes is essential to moving ahead down the right path. Using this technique of future possibilities, you get to explore realistic outcomes and how you would handle them so that you are never caught off guard or surprised. Before you make a big decision, utilize this framework and be prepared for all outcomes.
In this episode:
[5:25] Ursula shares the importance of thinking things through
- When you understand what may happen, you tend to make better future decisions
- You can’t plan unless you understand what you’re walking into
[7:55] The idea of future possibilities is a slippery slope
- The purpose is not to get caught up in the what ifs’ of the future
- You need to plan intelligently, so you are not caught off guard
- Knowing your options allows for intelligent choices
[13:05] The intention behind the action is essential
- When you know the why behind the action you can help choose different options
- Everyone is motivated by something. When you understand why you can help them stay consistent and honor their inner voice.
[16:02] The only way to be prepared is not to be caught off guard
- When you stare reality in the face, you see things clearly
- There is no such thing as the right decision. Success comes from flexible thinking, and the ability to pivot and change direction when your current course doesn’t serve you
[20:00] Preparation is the key to success
- Preparation doesn’t mean seeing the future. There is no crystal ball. It knows what can happen and makes the right decisions when they come up.
- Always look at all the options, and don’t get hyper-focused on the positives because you miss out on finding opportunities in the negatives.