Exploiting Chaos

150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change

150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change - an award-winning business innovation book by Jeremy Gutsche, CEO of Trend Hunter

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CULTURE OF REVOLUTION · Perspective . . . but you can predict scenarios and capitalize on disruption IN THE 1970s, PIERRE WACK was planning for the future at Royal Dutch Shell. For nearly three decades, oil prices had been relatively steady, but now the world was changing. Demand for oil had increased, US oil re- serves were drying up, Middle Eastern countries grew stronger, and most of these countries resented the West, especially aſter the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. 76 Weaving this information together, Wack realized that Middle Eastern countries could spark an energy crisis. That fear led him to develop two potential scenarios. The first scenario was based on the conventional wisdom that oil prices would remain relatively stable. The second assumed an oil crisis, which he conveyed in detail with vivid storytelling. The potential impact was so severe that Wack's managers were inspired to prepare for the worst. In 1973 the world did encounter an oil price shock, but Royal Dutch Shell was ready. Once the weakest of the "big seven" oil empires, the company emerged as the most profitable and second in size.

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