Today’s world is characterized by interconnectedness between organizations, whether those be allies, independent entities, and adversaries in the security world, or partners and competitors in the commercial world. There are no shortages of singular point predictions by experts regarding how actors’ strategies and capabilities, particularly those of states, might evolve. However, those predictions often prove to be wrong because they seek to achieve a degree of accuracy that is highly elusive given the significant complexity that the future holds. Predicting how key actors might behave in the future is an ongoing challenge that an Anticipatory Analysis methodology known as Scenario Development and Analysis helps resolve.

Anticipatory Analysis emphasizes producing insights about the future–in particular, what is driving the future, what may occur, and what would be the impact of those occurrences. In a similar vein, Scenario Analysis shifts the objective from attempting to perfectly predict the future to reducing uncertainty. By explicitly acknowledging that significant changes in the environment will occur, Scenarios Analysis aims to put parameters on the plausible.

How IAT Can Help?

Innovative Analytics & Training LLC (IAT) has a scenario-based methodology for assessing an actor’s potential future strategies and capabilities using a structured process to create plausible, divergent strategies and resultant capabilities that an actor might develop in light of how the environment in which it operates might evolve. The results are transparent, providing insights not only into what the future strategy (and capabilities) might be but also into why and how that future strategy and capabilities came to be.

IAT can assist organizations by leveraging this methodology to conduct independent studies or by working collaboratively to execute a project. This approach can be applied to a range of questions and actors but is most suited for strategies and capabilities that can take years to develop and fully execute. Assessing the national security strategies and military capabilities of states is an obvious application; foreign and economic policies would also be usefully explored. Non-state actors and their potential roles can also be assessed, as well as large corporations that need to make infrastructure or other large-scale investments.