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Revisiting and extending our understanding of Pierre Wack's the gentle art of re-perceiving

Burt, George (2010) Revisiting and extending our understanding of Pierre Wack's the gentle art of re-perceiving. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 77 (9). pp. 1476-1484. ISSN 0040-1625

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Abstract

Pierre Wack's 1985 Harvard Business Review papers are two of the most frequently referenced in the scenario planning literature. Wack argued that planning had to be based on the more predictive elements of the business environment. If not, plans would be based on uncertainty and a 'best guess' basis. Yet there is a lack of subsequent empirical research to investigate Pierre Wack's contribution. The research findings presented in this paper extend our understanding of Wack's contribution. We show how social discourse during scenario building helped to make sense and reveal the significance of historical events. These historical events were seen, but not previously understood; consequently a new understanding of reality emerged. The findings are in contrast to Wack's explanation of re-perceiving and extend our understanding of the basis of re-perceiving with scenarios.