January 28th 2020

Scenario Thinking – Interview with Dr. Kris De Meyer

Simulating scenario thinking is essential for any organising wanting to improve its forward planning. In this interview, we discuss with King’s College London neuroscientist, Dr. Kris De Meyer, how his Shutdown simulation, created for the Cabinet Office, uses immersive learning to improve people’s ability to imagine different scenarios and plan for them.


Kris De Meyer: So in shutdown, we wanted to help the Cabinet Office to find out questions that they had about how the public would respond if the national grid goes out for about a week. If there is a national power failure for a week and that's a really difficult issue because you can't just ask people how they will behave in that situation, because most of us have had no experience of that for a long time. And therefore, we cannot answer questions about situations or not easily answer questions about situations we don't have experience of. So the way the other organizations could be using the insights that we built into shut down is by taking the questions we have about the future and turning them into judgments about things that happened in the past.

Because our brains may not be very good in imagining the future, but we are very good at judging things and other people that happened in the past. That's one aspect to it. The second is by combining storytelling and scenario thinking with discussion and decision making, because what we are doing in shutdown is really switching back and forth between the two where we have a little bit of story that focuses the minds on a particular situation or question. And then we asked people to make decisions and to have discussions about the questions that we want to answer to. A third aspect that is crucial to what we did with shutdown is that if you really want to learn from the experience, if you want experience based learning, you don't only create an immersive experience. You also need to create the conditions for reflection on the experience. And that's what we usually do in something that we call a debrief, where after the experience we take people into sometimes even a different room and we get them to talk about what it felt like to be in that experience of disagreement or a difficult decision making. And so on and so forth.

You May Also be Interested in

July 2nd 2020

Post Meeting Notes – HRBP's: Reset And Thrive – Helping Businesses Prepare For An Uncertain Future

On 1st July 2020, CRF members gathered for HRBPs: Reset and Thrive – Helping Businesses Prepare for an Uncertain Future, a Zoom Interactive Event. Director of CRF Learning Nick Holley and Neil Morrison, Director of HR, Severn Trent, discussed how HRBPs can help their organisations thrive in the post-COVID-19 landscape.

  • Tags
  • Learning and Development
  • Coronavirus
  • Leadership
  • HR Business Partnering
Read Post Meeting Review

February 19th 2020

Better Conversations Recommended Readings

This document is a comprehensive list of key speaker, Dr. Wanda Wallace’s Recommended Readings.

Read Event Document

January 23rd 2020

Shutdown - Using Experiential Learning and Scenario Planning

Exploring the value of experiential learning and scenario planning to imagine and prepare for possible futures, with neuroscientist Dr. Kris De Meyer (King’s College London) and Dan Barnard, Artistic Director at fanSHEN, from their session at CRF event Future Insight in January 2020.

  • Tags
  • Learning and Development
  • Behavioural Science
  • Coronavirus
View Presentation

July 12th 2017

Transforming the Learning Function

Harnessing learning to drive innovation and performance Building sustainable performance means organisations have to be able to adapt at speed to changes in their environment. Therefore organisations’ capacity to learn and reinvent themselves is a critical capability today. This webinar explored the state of play in the learning function today, how well equipped it is for success in today’s business context, and where the opportunities lie for improving performance.

  • Tags
  • Learning and Development
  • Transformation
More Info

April 7th 2017

What is Mentoring?

This article looks what defines coaching and mentoring in an organisational context, overviews the benefits (for both mentor and mentee) and outlines a model for effective coaching and mentoring in the workplace.

  • Tags
  • Learning and Development
Read Article

July 14th 2014

Progress - Issue 2: The Pleasures of Work

Within this second edition of our e-magazine - Progress - philosopher and best-selling author Alain de Botton discusses the pleasures and sorrows of work.

  • Tags
  • Learning and Development
Read Article