In a recent scenario planning engagement, a client that provides services to the CFOs of large companies asked if we should build the scenarios from the perspective of the target client. This would reveal the motivations that could drive the behaviors of the CFOs, allowing for better anticipation of their needs. By building the scenarios from the CFOs’ perspectives, the client argued, the scenario planning exercise would enable them to put on their shoes and experience the effects of each scenario on their psyche.
The answer to this is both yes and no. A set of scenarios encompasses the contextual environment, in which the transactional environment is embedded. Scenarios depict developments in the world around us, and therefore the scenario is shared by the client and target CFOs simultaneously. Therefore a scenario is comprehensive as a solution and can be explored through an actor analysis deconstruction.
An even better option is to invite your clients into your scenario planning session. Then instead of speculating on what they may or may not be compelled to do in a given scenario, you can make them a partner in the process to collectively shape a better future together. If unable to draw clients into the process, role playing by the participants is also an option. For more on client integration and understanding customer needs in scenarios, see this paper.