Laureate of The Global Strategy Leadership Excellence Award
- along with CEO's of Philips and Ericsson -

The award winning ViewPoint Model is a systemic impact assessment framework, using simulation, thereby previewing impacts on complex transformation initiatives over time - prior to and during investment.

"A strategy is a mental model of identified driving forces that enable a desired outcome.

Strategic Scenario Planning for complex transformation projects aims at assembling the driving forces to meet the desired outcome in distinct situations.

Empirical studies show that failed complex transformation implementations are often caused by driving forces that were NOT in the plan.

The ViewPoint Model is a systemic impact assessment instrument to assist in identifying those 'invisible' driving forces and to include them during the planning and implementation of complex transformation projects or initiatives".

Source: 'Prophecies of Profits - Unintended Consequences'


The Viewpoint Model is a systemic assessment framework, combining various tangible and intangible aspects in a financial impact simulation.


Traditional planning tools overlook important stakeholder dynamics and social aspects in the execution of complex transformation initiatives.

VPM complements existing tools in developing a more coherent implementation plan.


By ranking the driving forces on initiatives and projects by priority,risk and added value, VPM enables:

1.Identification of potential implementation delays.

2.Confirmation or adjustment of investment, timing, and required resources.

Instant Computer Reporting

Part 1: VPM Impact Analyzer Driving force Analysis.
The Driving forces ranked by priority, risk and benefit.

Part 2: VPM: Indicative Planning Analysis.
Impact of driving forces on complex transformation portfolios.

Impact 1

We expect that the adoption of VPM will significantly increase the organization's ability to diagnose problems and discover implementation delays.

Impact 2

Assists organizations and stakeholders in developing a shared picture of an organizational future that will foster genuine commitment and buy-in, rather than compliance.

ViewPoint Model in Concept

A brief introduction to the model and its purpose to assist in previewing and stress-testing strategies and implementation plans - prior to investment.

VPM Concepts and Instrumentation inspired by...
Russell Ackoff 1919 - 2009, Pierre Wack 1922 - 1997 and Peter Senge 1947 -

VPM is about establishing where to unlearn, re-learn and where new learning has to be initiated.

The Viewpoint Model (VPM) is based on systems thinking as well as system dynamics and is deployed as a strategic scenario planning instrument. The Institute for Strategy and Complexity Management is grounded in systems thinking as the mental model to approach the scenario planning process. System dynamics functions as the core for simulations and produces the projections from the ongoing changes in a scenario.

The VPM instrument was created in response to the void of information in strategic scenario planning about the decision maker’s mental models. Pierre Wack: “Scenarios deal with two worlds; the world of facts and the world of perceptions. They explore for facts but they aim at perceptions inside the heads of decision-makers. Their purpose is to gather and transform information of strategic significance into fresh perceptions."

"A valuable insight by Pierre Wack on his pioneering work at Royal Dutch Shell was that scenarios had to connect with managers' assumptions, beliefs and concerns for the future in order to be of real use to them. In other words, scenario practice had to impact upon the mental models of decision-makers."

(Source HBR 1985, vol 63, no 5 Scenarios: Uncharted waters ahead).

The Institute for Strategy and Complexity Management provided insights from more than a decade research on failed complex initiatives and projects. The research outcome established that plans fail within a pattern.Such patterns are ('the patterns identified by Nyiri's research result'):

Such patterns are ('the patterns identified by Nyiri's research result'):
1. Many plans fail not because of what was in the plan, but what was not in the plan.
2. The driving forces of failure are to be found in the realm of intangibles.

The reason for failed planning are primarily to find in lack of:

Scenario Planning
Viewpoint Modeling includes stakeholder dynamics, as from a systemic perspective, this dynamic is the most influential variable that determines future outcomes.
The viewpoint modeling method aims at finding the subliminal forces that were overlooked by the planners or could not be predicted by them. A VPM program starts with identifying the stakeholders and subsequently inviting them to join the VPM session(s).

Why are stakeholders so important? Because they will during the course of the transformation program/initiative play an influential role, be it constructive or stalling. Any plan based on a deterministic, technical, mechanistic roll out of events assumes that every party involved:

• is well informed,
• stays well informed
• is capable,
• is co-operative
• is constantly available
• has good intentions
• discusses in a constructive, open way
• refrains from interests other than the good of the project’s objective
• has unlimited capacities

Please note that such conditions occur rarely in the working world.

The Viewpoint Model aims to bring deeper insight to the stakeholders about the impact on one another. From there it invites to engage in critical reflection about the deployment of the correct systemic behaviors. Therefore, achieving a desired state of the strategy.

The Viewpoint Model taps on existing knowledge within and among the stakeholders, that’s why we call it ‘subliminal’, because in the traditional planning procedure it remains ‘sub limen’, that is (Latin for): below the horizon of perception. The pleasant effect of this approach is that it hardly evokes resistance, as the contributions come from the participants themselves.

Consequently, the participants are eager to see what impact their self-estimated forces may have on the course of events. This creates a swift process of critical reflection on the effects of the driving forces. It also brings quickly a collective (shared) insight in the effects of the previously thought intangibles.

As a result it may start a constructive discussion about managing on the basis of systemic behavior.

Once this process has been initiated, the following move towards creating a credible strategy can be made.

The main areas of contribution by the Viewpoint Model in scenario planning is in social systems sciences and affect:

complexity reduction; and stakeholder conflict resolution management

Making the complexity of the business environment visible is the key differentiator in the VPM planning method. Behavioral-based , so that the decision-making becomes not only more rational, but also better explainable.

With the help of simulations a clear picture and impact-testing of the causal relationships between multiple strategy/project variables such as market growth, competition, internal projects, commitment, leadership, investment appetite etcetera can be built. This makes it easier to test the impact of certain factors. Once the simulation has been developed for projects, it can also be deployed at a higher level, namely of strategy definition. This allows for ‘back-testing’ to strategy level and gaining exposure to management’s transformation insights.


The acknowledgement of stakeholder dynamics in the models and simulations is key for planning projections. It is the ‘invisible gust of wind’, often absent in organizational planning. By extending the VPM to simulation by means of dynamic models, one can bring more objectivity and coherence in the stakeholder dynamics.

Stakeholder dynamics represents major driving forces that make or break implementation success.


Identified the relevant and irrelevant driving forces - that may lead to conflicts, when overlooked and not addressed properly

Assessed the initiative/project complexity levels - by highlighting the subliminal forces and assumptions

Measured the organizational readiness

Pre-viewed the corrective actions for a set of scenarios

ViewPointModel Inspirators - the philosophies behind the scene

A brief introduction to the Viewpoint Model logic and by whom it was inspired by.

VPM Concepts and Instrumentation inspired by...
Russell Ackoff 1919 - 2009 and Pierre Wack 1922 - 1997

The ViewPoint Model is a systems thinking-based model. Its computer aided Driving Forces and Stakeholder Management model visualizes the individual and organizational mindset and make the respective driving forces measurable. The results of the VPM sessions are used for behavioral modeling and future projection purposes in simulations.

Pierre Wack: “Scenarios deal with two worlds; the world of facts and the world of perceptions. They explore for facts but they aim at perceptions inside the heads of decision-makers. Their purpose is to gather and transform information of strategic significance into fresh perceptions. This transformation process is not trivial—more often than not it does not happen. When it works, it is a creative experience that generates a heartfelt ‘Aha’ … and leads to strategic insights beyond the mind’s reach.”

"A valuable insight by Pierre Wack on his pioneering work at Royal Dutch Shell was that scenarios had to connect with managers' assumptions, beliefs and concerns for the future in order to be of real use to them. In other words, scenario practice had to impact upon the mental models of decision-makers. Wack wrote "From the moment of this realization, we no longer saw our task as producing a documented view of the future business environment five or ten years ahead. Our real target was the microcosms of our decision makers: unless we influenced the mental image, the picture of reality held by critical decision makers, our scenarios would be like water on a stone...".

(Source HBR 1985, vol 63, no 5 Scenarios: Uncharted waters ahead)."

Russell Ackoff described that “...a problem never exists in isolation; it is surrounded by other problems in space and time. The more of the context of a problem that a scientist can comprehend, the greater are his chances of finding a truly adequate solution.”

In his approach he identified that “...To manage a system effectively, you might focus on the interactions of the parts rather than their behavior taken separately.”

This strategic attention area is translated in the Viewpoint Model’s measurement logic - to measure the interactions of the parts thereby understanding the respective paradigm for the result. His critical insights inspired our research and development to include his aspects of learnings in an evolution-based think instrument and share it with the strategy and complexity management community.

List of Philosophers

A list of valuable strategic and scenario thinkers.

Strategic Thinkers... we considered

Scenario Thinkers... we considered


Scenario Thinking Bibliography.

Scenario Planning Bibliography we considered... referred to reflective learning

Herman Kahn: On Thermonuclear War. 1962
Herman Kahn: Thinking about the Unthinkable. 1962
Herman Kahn: On Escalation. Metaphors and Scenarios. 1965
Herman Kahn, Anthony Wiener: The Year 2000. A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-Three Years. 1967
Daniel Bell: The Coming of Postindustrial Society. 1973
Donald Michael: On Learning to Plan and Planning to Learn. 1973
Pierre Wack: Scenarios: The Gentle Art of Reperceiving. 1984
Pierre Wack: Scenarios: Shooting the Rapids. Harvard Business Review. 1985
Pierre Wack: Scenarios: Uncharted Waters Ahead. Harvard Business Review. 1985
Peter Schwartz: The Art of Long View. Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World. 1991
Wired. Scenarios Special Edition. October 1995
Lawrence Wilkinson: How to Build Scenarios ? 1995
Kees van der Heijden: Scenario. The Art of Strategic Conversation. 1996
Art Kleiner: The Age of Heretics. Heroes, Outlaws, and the Forerunners of Corporate Change.1996
Kees van der Heijden, Ron Bradfield, George Burt, George Cairns, George Wright: The Sixth Sense. Accelerating Organizational Learning with Scenarios. 2002
Eamonn Kelly, Peter Leyden and Members of Global Business Network: What´s Next? Exploring the New Terrain for Business. 2002
Arie de Geus: Planning as Learning. 1988
Peter Senge: The Fifth Discipline. The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. 1990
Arie de Geus: The Living Company. 1997
Miriam Galt et al.: Idon Scenario Thinking. How to Navigate Uncertainty of Unknown Future. 1997
Liam Fahey, Robert Randall: Learning from the Future. Competitive Foresight Scenarios Advantage Through Scenario Planning. 1998
Gill, Ringland: Scenario Planning. Managing for the Future.1998
John Petersen: Out of the Blue. How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises. 1999
Michel Godet: Creating Futures. Scenario Planning as a Strategic Management Tool. 2001
Chantell Ilbury, Clem Sunter: Mind of a Fox. Scenario Planning in Action. 2001
James Ogilvy: Building Better Futures. Scenario Planning as a Tool for a Better Tomorrow. 2002
Peter Schwartz: Inevitable Surprises. Thinking Ahead in a Time of Turbulence. 2003
Rober Lempert, Steven Popper, Steven Bankes: Shaping the Next One Hudred Years. 2003
Diana Scearce, Katherine Fulton: What If ? The Art of Scenario Thinking for Nonprofits. 2004

Scenario Thinking History

History of Scenario Thinking.

Scenario Planning History

1950 Herman Kahn started and developed scenario techniques at RAND Corporation

1956 Emerging information society in United States

1960 Herman Kahn founded Hudson Institute

1960 Several Herman Kahn´s books on scenario thinking

1970 Warning scenarios of Club of Rome

1970-1980 Developing scenario thinking and scenario planning at Royal / Dutch Shell

1984 Pierre Wack´s articles on scenario planning

1990 Emerging World Wide Web

1987 Foundation of Global Business Network by Peter Schwartz, Jay Ogilvy, Napier Collyns, Stewart Brand and Lawrence Wilkinson

1995 Wired Magazine – Scenarios Special Edition

1997 The Millennium Project of AC/UNU started

1997 State of the Future reports published every year

1999 Future Research Methods 1.0 edited by Jerome Glenn

1999 Out of the Blue - How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises by John Petersen

2003 Future Research Methods 2.0 by Jerome Glenn and Theodore Gordon

2004 Pentagon´s 2020 warning scenario by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall

2007 Institute for Strategy and Complexity Management - including stakeholder dynamics in scenario planning