The recent 28-page report by BCG and WFPMA, focusing on 32 HR and people management practices, highlights strategic workforce planning (SWP) as the second most ‘urgent’ practice— representing a significant gap between the practice’s importance and organizations’ capability to implement it effectively. One contributing factor to this gap is the increasing necessity for organizations to integrate scenario planning (SP) into their workforce planning. SP helps organizations envision, describe, and plan for potential alternative futures, yet its complexity has risen due to multiple influential factors and heightened uncertainty in business scenarios. In this new HBR article, the authors propose leveraging GenAI to support three stages of SP:
- Scenario Creation—rapidly process vast sets of internal business data, global news sources, political developments, industry reports, think tank studies, etc., to assist strategists in comprehensively framing the overall planning exercise.
- Narrative Exploration—crafting detailed narratives to describe scenarios, including their key challenges, concerns, and limitations.
- Strategy Generation— utilizing GenAI to propose tailored strategies and actions addressing specific scenario challenges.
As noted in the article, “while human judgment remains essential in contingency planning, generative AI allows organizations to generate and consider far more scenarios and strategic factors than people, on their own, could.” As such, it can serve as an effective tool for scenario-based workforce planning.