Olympian Insight: Successful Scenario Planning
Updated: Mar 14, 2022
The countdown is on to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics (T-minus 8 days), and while the excitement and anticipation is building, what you don't often see is the depths of planning and attention to detail that goes on behind the scenes.
In my keynote speech, I talk about the importance of scenario planning to an athletes confidence and readiness for success - form training off no sleep or food to competing with substitute coaches, being ready for weather or injury delays to being the last competitor performing when GOLD is on the line!
To give you an example, I would scenario plan out exactly what I would do if my hands hit the ground on landing, and how I would need to prepare myself (mentally and physically) to ensure I could muster up the jump of my life. I would also scenario plan for success and opportunity as well - if I landed the jump of my life in qualifying, I knew exactly how I would spend my down time in order to stay calm and in control before the upcoming final.
It's exactly the same in business - take event planning for this example - often we scenario plan out the risks, like bad weather, delays or catering to go wrong, but there is just as much power in planning for the opportunity. Asking yourself 'what if this all goes right' and 'what can we do to maximise this' can help us reach even greater successes.
Off the field, the team behind the athlete are using exactly the same approach, planning and rehearsing alternative strategies and ensuring all the "what if's" are covered by a Plan B.
Whether it be in sport, life, business or the board room, active scenario planning improves resilience, self belief, flexibility and readiness to perform under pressure. It empowers people to ideate, be creative, hypothetically navigate worst case scenario's and be ready to make decisions under pressure. Scenario planning helps our brains to experience situations before they might happen, it helps us find clarity and solutions more quickly and elevates our belief that we can effectively work through challenges and take strategic risks.
In a world that's constantly changing course, get ready to pivot, adjust and perform when it counts, just like our Olympic athletes. Start your year with a little "if this, then that" planning!
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