How Does Scenario Planning Prepare a Chief Strategy Officer for Volatile Business Environments?


    How Does Scenario Planning Prepare a Chief Strategy Officer for Volatile Business Environments?

    In the face of uncertainty, scenario planning can be a powerful tool for business leaders. Drawing on experiences from Managing Partners to Directors of Marketing, we've gathered five insightful examples of how strategic foresight has steered companies through turbulent times. From leveraging retained earnings in a crisis to navigating the volatility in the private-jet charter market, these leaders share their real-world applications of scenario planning.

    • Leverage Retained Earnings in Crisis
    • Adapt Fitness Programs for Pandemic
    • Resolve Warehouse Hostility with HR Expertise
    • Anticipate Digital Shift for Business Continuity
    • Navigate Volatility in Private-Jet Charter Market

    Leverage Retained Earnings in Crisis

    There are many policies and procedures a successful company needs to have in place to be viable and relevant in the marketplace. I believe one of the most critical attributes a company must clearly understand at all times is their financial position; knowing your numbers. Back in January of 2020, the world did not have any idea what was about to impact the economy globally. I had the good fortune of understanding how important it is to have retained earnings in a business. Having more than a year of working capital, in a time of economic uncertainty, is paramount. It allowed me not just to survive, but to thrive in this time of uncertainty because we had the cash to do things our competitors were not able to do and take calculated risks that others were not prepared to take.

    Kevin France
    Kevin FranceManaging Partner, Momentum Consulting Group, Inc.

    Adapt Fitness Programs for Pandemic

    Some of our main programs at Women Success Society and Women's Health 365 are our programs to help women fitness studio owners launch and grow fitness studios.

    As soon as we started to see the legal environment change at the beginning of the pandemic, we immediately began helping clients get classes online and move classes outdoors.

    Once we started to see that fitness was not going back to 'normal' for an extended period of time, we began planning ahead for more outside-the-box strategies. Outdoor events beyond each studio's traditional core competencies, digital memberships, hybrid memberships, and increased class schedules with significantly reduced capacity were all considered.

    We began working with studios to run different scenarios to see what worked best for each business and how they could survive and thrive in a totally unexpected business environment.

    Amy Mewborn
    Amy MewbornCEO, Business Strategist, Women's Health 365

    Resolve Warehouse Hostility with HR Expertise

    In 2022, our warehouse was filled with hostile people, and I decided to seek help from a leading HR firm based in Nashville, TN. They proposed a plan of action and brought in a skilled HR representative from Huntsville, AL, to terminate four people. This led to the replacement of hostile employees with hardworking individuals who appreciate their jobs as much as we appreciate them.

    Tammy Sons
    Tammy SonsCEO, TN Nursery

    Anticipate Digital Shift for Business Continuity

    Scenario planning played a pivotal role during the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. We initiated a scenario-planning exercise to anticipate possible business impacts. One scenario we prepared for was a significant shift toward digital communication, considering social distancing measures.

    By preparing for this, we diversified our services ahead of time, integrating more digital solutions while maintaining our core business of personalized, handwritten notes. This adjustment not only kept us afloat but also allowed us to support our clients in maintaining meaningful connections during tough times, ultimately leading to an unexpectedly strong year despite the challenges.

    Rick Elmore
    Rick ElmoreCEO, Simply Noted

    Navigate Volatility in Private-Jet Charter Market

    Scenario planning has been crucial in navigating the volatile private-jet charter market, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We developed multiple scenarios ranging from extended travel restrictions to a sudden surge in demand for private travel due to safety concerns. This approach allowed us to anticipate and swiftly adapt to changing regulations and client needs. For instance, anticipating a surge in demand, we strengthened relationships with operators to ensure availability and negotiated flexible terms, which positioned us to offer immediate solutions to clients seeking safer travel alternatives. This preparation not only helped us maintain operations but also contributed to a significant increase in new clients seeking the safety and reliability of private jet travel during uncertain times.

    Fahd Khan
    Fahd KhanDirector of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation