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Large Group Scenario Planning


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For More Information: Gil Steil Associates, www.gilsteil.com

Purpose: 
To enhance large group interventions involving a whole system by enabling participants to envision multiple ways the external environment may change in the future and how these environmental changes could affect the organization. 

Outcomes: 
Future plans that have been clarified by questioning participant assumptions about the future, which is frequently not an extrapolation of the past 

When to Use: 
  • To enhance strategic planning 
  • When multiple possibilities need to be considered 
  • When the imagination of the planners needs encouragement 

When Not to Use: 
When there are no critical uncertainties confronting the organization 

Number of Participants: 
32–512 

Types of Participants: 
All stakeholders 

Typical Duration:
 
  • Plan: 2–6 weeks 
  • Invite Participants: 2–10 weeks 
  • Meeting: 2–3 days 
  • Follow-up: 6 months 

Brief Example: 
A dental school used Large Group Scenario Planning to plan for curricular change, admissions policy, and faculty development. The result was a restructured curriculum, some fresh approaches to admissions, and ideas for faculty development. 

Historical Context: 
Created in 2003 by Gil Steil and Michele Gibbons-Carr. Based on traditional scenario planning strategies of P.Schwartz, J. Ogillvy, G. Ringland, P. Schoemaker, and K. van der Heijden, and integrated into a whole system large group process.