Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on talking about strategic responses during a scenario planning meeting in English.
It’s impossible to predict the future exactly. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bother trying. After all, we don’t create business strategies based only on today’s realities. We need to think about what will or might happen and how we will respond to these possible events.
So if we’ve done the work of laying out future scenarios, then how exactly do we plan our strategic responses? To start, you’ll need to choose an overall strategic posture. Are you going to take the lead in your industry? Or will you sit back and respond to things as they happen?
Your strategic posture depends in part on the possible impacts of future events and your choice of strategies. You need to discuss these impacts in order to choose the best course of action out of several possibilities. So this means you’ll be doing a lot of discussing alternative strategies.
In strategic planning, we often say that you can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want. For this reason, you will have to ask your team to prioritize, or decide which strategies are most important. And to make those decisions about priorities, you’ll need to discuss hypothetical results of different actions.
In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin a meeting of executives at a large retail firm. Gwen is based in the US headquarters. She’s discussing strategies with Natasha and Daniel, who head up the firm’s operations in another country. The group is discussing strategic responses to future scenarios they’ve already mapped out.
1. What strategy does Daniel suggest for their larger urban stores?
2. What does Natasha suggest instead of making big cuts to their operations?
3. What does Gwen say could be the ultimate result of the changes they’re discussing?