The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World Summary

The SQUEEZE: To encourage long-term sustainability and prosperity, companies must create a strategic vision. This vision must consider both the positive and negative effects of growth, competition, and economic viability. It is within this context that Peter Schwartz believes in the necessity of professional planners to help companies prepare for a future filled with different sets of challenges. In “The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World,” Schwartz urges companies to consider both the tangibles and the intangibles by offering his views concerning the principle of scenario planning. In the book, Schwartz suggests new techniques, for which he developed as an employee for Royal Dutch Shell. These techniques undoubtedly provide insight into how to plan for the worse as well as the best. Referencing major governmental organizations, Schwartz manages the feat of providing samples of exercises that were effective over a long period of time. Schwartz’s work is a must-read for organizations that desire to develop succession-planning scenarios.

Notable Endorsement: I thought this book was well written, presented a lot of interesting and fun stories, and was easy to understand. ”—Kristi L. Akiona, Customer

Common Q’s Answered by this Book:

  • What is the “scenaric approach”?
  • How can companies create a strategic vision using the scenaric approach?
  • What are the new techniques that derive from the scenaric approach?
  • What five companies and/or organizations have utilized the scenaric approach?
  • What are examples of scenario exercises?


About the Author: Peter Schwartz is the co-founder of the Global Business Network (GBN), which is a corporate strategy firm. The firm specializes in scenario planning. Schwartz serves as the Senior Vice President for Global Relations and Strategic Planning for His book titles include: “Inevitable Surprises” (Gotham, 2003), “The Long Boom” (Perseus, 1999), and “When Good Companies Do Bad Things” (Wiley, 1999). His professional experience includes service at Stanford Research Institute as a director of the Strategic Environment Center. Schwartz has also served as head of scenario planning for Royal Dutch Shell. Schwartz graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering and astronautics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For more information about Shwartz’s professional pursuits, visit:


Book Vitals:

  • Publisher: Currency Doubleday (April 1996)

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