Chapter 1: Innovation Out of Turbulence: Scenario and Survival Plans that Utilizes Groups and the Wisdom of Crowds
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. V: Strategy in Innovation


This article describes the process of innovation planning and the types of plans developed during good times and bad. Scenario planning during good times could have gone a long way in preventing and preparing for disruptive events such as the chaos that BP, Plc (BP) found itself in after the Gulf of Mexico disaster. BP, the government, and the oil industry were ill-prepared with inadequate scenario and disaster planning. Since oil issues transcend companies and countries, industry organizations are probably the best candidates to have done more scenario and contingency planning. Scenario planning naturally leads to Disaster Recovery Plans (DRPs) that are robust, tested, and practiced. This was missing in several places and several ways in the BP spill. Not having good DRPs contributed to a lack of ability to deal with such a major disaster, and the inability to rapidly develop a survival plan. The overwhelming response of ideas and inventions, some 60,000 suggestions in the first 2 months, overwhelmed BP. A huge opportunity for innovation was lost. Using group collaboration concepts BP could have, and should have, gathered, prioritize and assessed this flood of ideas. For BP, combining workgroups and teams of experts would have allowed for rapid innovation during a time of idea overload. Collaborative techniques like Wikipedia would have allowed BP to use the wisdom of crowds to process and prioritize solutions. An analysis of Wikipedia and the content pages used for this research is included in the Appendix.
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