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Business Planning in Radically Uncertain Times

The ongoing poly-crisis is something that few had predicted but even fewer have prepared for. Current times are unprecedented in human history. We provide advice on how to make good decisions in the face of such uncertainty.


More than ever, it is not about being right in retrospect, it’s about acting now. In business, it’s not about spending time designing the perfect plan, it’s about avoiding paralysis through analysis of today’s unstable and unpredictable trends. At present, the best has never been more the enemy of the good (i.e. taking action).

What you need is to make good enough decisions based on imperfect information. First, accept that very few decisions can be made with certainty in life. Second, build an independent assessment process that will reduce prejudice when gauging the different options. We provide, below, seven key steps to help you make “good enough decisions” in radically uncertain times.

7 key steps

  1. Work with a small and diverse team of experts
    You need to ensure multi-dimensional thinking: Make sure there are different profiles, functions and generations in your team to uncover all possible impacts, scenarios and winning initiatives.

  2. Work with multiple scenarios.
    You need a plan B if plan A fails.

  3. Look for contradiction.
    Do not project your ideal image of business or society in your business planning.

  4. Use data to understand your consumers and predict their behavior.
    Your consumers habits are very often hidden in data that are already available. The more you know about your consumers, the better you can guess their buying patterns. You’re not going to guess everything but you’ll be right more often than you think.

  5. Work with humility and prudence.
    The future is unknown, take calculated risks.

  6. Work with curiosity.
    Focus on understanding correlations and links, learn and get inspiration from other areas.

  7. Work in constant reframing mode.
    Regularly revise the potential impacts on your consumers and business model.

Focus on what you can do and try to keep anxiety far away!

Take care and stay safe!

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