Strategic Foresight Initiative

Strategic Foresight Initiative

The SFI utilized the Scenario-based Strategic Planning process. This is opposite of traditional strategic planning and plans. The weakness of traditional strategic planning is that planners simply extrapolate the present into the future to develop strategic plans. Scenario-based accepts that none of us can predict the future (anyone alive on September 10, 2001?), so strategic planning, or better yet, "developing strategies that should work REGARDLESS of the future," is essential for the emergency management community. I took part in one such venture in the Coast Guard during Project Long View. The Coast Guard, after entering DHS, shared their success with others in the new Department (Does FEMA want to admit this?). The Coast Guard went on to Project Evergreen to continue using scenarios to develop strategies that should work regardless of the future. EMI could create a one-week course that the emergency management community to attend to better understand the process, not so that students can do such planning on their own, but better understand the validity of the process FEMA's SFI initiative represents. It took me (and all my Coast Guard fellows) months during Project Long View before "the light bulbs went on" and we coalesced in making a very good product. Project Evergreen added the cultural change element for the Coast Guard and scenario-based understanding and thinking is spreading and making for better strategic thinkers in the organization. I would volunteer to help EMI set up s course.

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Idea No. 1249