Scenario planning yields options that one day can be exercised.  

Anyone who has worked with me knows one of my favorite slogans is “Just Do It,” coined by Nike.

Anyone who has worked with me also knows that having options to “Just Do It,” requires a thoughtful approach to generating the options.

So, are you the founder with the drive and obsession to create a great business?

To increase your chances of success, a list of options is not enough.

You must make choices. You must exercise those options. You must practice.

———————————

While working in the pharmaceutical industry, an opportunity arose to disrupt the conventional supply chain of prescription drugs through distributors to pharmacies. There were multiple stakeholders involved: patients, competition authorities, wholesalers, pharmacies, manufacturing, and the pharmaceutical company that employed me.

 A cross functional team of in-house counsel, supply chain, finance, and strategy were formed. Detailed analyses, supply chain forecasting, exhaustive profiles of the distributors and contractual obligations were prepared to come up with a disruptive solution to getting meds to patients in a legal 24×7 manner; while also reducing from 200 to 15 wholesalers. We prepared a draft contract for negotiation with the wholesalers.

To our disbelief, the CEO summoned us to her office to inform us that we were to spend one week in an undisclosed location with no connection to the outside world to undergo negotiation training.

We found ourselves like chess players, practicing grueling scenarios with different outcomes to pursue. We learned what BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement), could mean for the patients; our customers. We learned who the players were, different options to concede, and other non-negotiables. Like learning the chess board, we used role plays as the “opponent”; iterations ensued of the game such as how by choosing what piece to begin the game with, we would sway the desired outcome.

With a mindset to have fun, a riskless environment is created. Creativity is critical to generate options. The stakes of the game were relatively low… the worst thing that could go wrong is you had to buy a few drinks.

This content is available to subscribers only. Subscribe now or log in if you are already a subscriber.