Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | February 16, 2009

Futures Tutorial 4



This is the last entry on the overall methodology.  Next will be the findings – from 1990-92. 

This graphic shows what the study, Army 21, would produce.  The study has a proposed, planned future – called Airland Operations after the Army’s concept of operations – which is the green circle.  It has about a 20% probablity of happening totally as planned.  That means the future won’t be exactly as planned.  And, it wasn’t.

The tiny cloverleaf of 4 little ellipses show the real probability of some very specific alternative worlds.  This is what RAND was pushing as their pet rocks.  Since RAND agreed that the real probability of their worlds actually happening was less than 1% for each alternative future, I depicted them as such.  The RAND guys hated it.

The take-away from this is that the likely world – the one that actually happens – won’t be the exact world we are planning against.  True for the U.S. Army then and now.   True for almost any other long-range planning, futures exericse. 

Finally, the point of the whole futures exercise is to produce the key decisions in 1992 which effect the Army 2005-2015.

The same could be done for many other organizations.  In future tutorials, I’ll show how I took the general findings for the future – for the U.S. – and applied them to Virginia in the late 90s. 

We could do the same exercise today – 2009 – for 2020-30.  That would be interesting – and fun – if we had the time and resources (dayjob money) to do it.


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