Using Scenario Planning to Build Resilience

Janellis has conducted research with executive leaders and boards on building resilience within critical infrastructure organisations. The aim is to share the most current thinking in this area. 

In parallel we conducted research on ‘the value of change management in executing strategy’ and in some cases, there has been a convergence of issues such as:

  • A resilient organisation has been described as one that has an adaptive capacity to deal with change and;
  • Organisations looking to improve the change management aspects of executing strategy are seeking to build greater resilience, particularly in their people.

There are some common themes in the risks that organisations face in relation to cyber threats; for example, meeting the expectations of the regulators and changes in government policy.

Industry specific risks such as cladding for the property sector, Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) requirements to ‘measure risk culture’ are contentious issues for some.

Boards and executives are closely tracking risks such as change management and the ability to execute on strategy.

Building capability to deal with change

All organisations interviewed within our resilience research have conducted scenario-based activities for their executives and other teams within their business. There is a growing level of investment in this area. Executives acknowledge the value that scenario planning provides such as:

  • Creating a shared view of the risks and opportunities.
  • Uncovering blind spots and challenging assumptions.
  • Developing an enhanced capacity to perceive change.
  • Developing contingency plans for emerging threats.
  • Being prepared for known risks as well as unknown risks.
  • Building a more agile and adaptive capacity.
  • Enhancing the capacity to interpret and respond to change.

The intent for most organisations is to execute scenario planning activities more frequently; more broadly across the organisation and for a broader range of risks which include: strategic, operational, financial, market reputation, people and project.

Where executives have embedded scenario planning across many layers of an organisation, this capability corresponds to how well they are executing their strategy.

The research is in its final stages. If you would like to participate or to receive the more detailed report, email For more information, click here: Research