The challenge

Oil price fluctuations, including sudden drops, had weakened the regional economy, putting increased pressure on government and on society, through both fiscal and political insecurity.

The client therefore wanted to explore both short-term risks and threats to their business, by war-gaming a suite of scenarios with significant downsides; but importantly to understand how their strategic options might be impacted by longer-term prospects for political stability, and economic and social reform in the country.

Our approach

We designed an immersive scenarios project to help a senior corporate team explore alternative futures including worst-case scenarios at a regional level.

The process included:

  • Scanning the external environment
  • Developing shot term vignettes to 2030
  • Running a war-gaming exercise with the leadership team
  • Stress-testing existing strategic responses and developing strategies for alternative outcomes
  • Identifying critical focus areas for the business in the short-, medium-and long-term

The outcome

The foresight project and war-gaming exercise prepared the client for the rebounding oil price and seismic political shifts.

It brought the kind of “a-ha” moments to the leadership team that SOIF often sees during these strategic foresight and scenario-building interventions.

They were able to:

  • transform their level of preparedness for worst-case outcomes
  • develop contingency plans and monitor early warning signals
  • build a collective view of alternative futures
  • link short-term risk mitigation to long-term strategy
  • advocate for their long-term vision within the wider international organisation, as well as with their suppliers and the regional value chain
  • the need for internal and external change, culturally and organisationally; in particular for the board to act as a collective sense-making and decision-making body