Introduction to the Topic

A key question today is, what constitutes the need for a more exact and thorough examination of systems, entities, webs of relations, and processes in larger contexts and time units, and the need to analyse, improve, inform or train?

In this matter, it pays to proceed holistically, even though this concept has been overused and misused.

Business games (simulation games for companies) or system analysis are well-known training methods. They are a matter of extremely standardised, i.e. ready-made approaches, whereby knowledge or existing facts are inserted into a mathematical scheme and basically a result with slight variations according to a prefabricated plan is obtained.

The method presented here provides simple steps derived from plausible insights from social science as to how to arrive at subjective information in an open system, i.e. in a reality which is pre-existing or which is believed to be pre-existing, and how this information can be usefully brought to bear on your own concern.

In this process, you take account of parts of a system, or individuals and the surrounding environments and conditions, in an effort to view them in a context larger than usual, to see them without blinkers, without suffering from tunnel vision, or to put it positively, to look beyond the horizon.


About the experiences which led to this method:

These experiences had to do with counselling situations, the goal of which was to strengthen the competence of the counselees, seen as the key to solving their problems and making them fit for the challenge of a new perspective.

And it had to do with organisational development with the staff of a manufacturing production plant, in which serious problems could only be solved with the help and involvement of the staff – not by decree, dictated from outside or from above. In the long run, only a staff trained to be aware of the demands of honesty and conscious of their competence and their potential could reveal and solve the problem.

Three-dimensional Learning

The practical application of the Scenario Plan Method means making use of a certain seminar situation in order to bring about the above-mentioned authenticity in the participants. This is not the classical seminar situation with its frequent use of electronic means and its frontal style of teaching.

In fact, it has turned out – this is true of different target groups – that you can express yourself very precisely in your own dialect or in an everyday language and way of speaking (with restrictions, e.g. certain young people are not permitted to use gutter language).

The participants do not sit or stand in one place. They can move about and use facial expression and gestures to give vent to their feelings. This lends support to what they want to express and is well understood by the others.

The construction and use of scenarios means working with objects, so-called objective representations, on a ground plan the size of a table, to give expression to the segments of reality which are intended or to be explored. The way the representations are placed and who places them are very important factors, as well as how they are then possibly changed by the group. Also, the manner in which individuals take part in or relate to this process is meaningful. But the physical distance to the scenario table or the degree of activity of individual participants has little significance at first.

Social Location or Social Geography

An important, perhaps the basic principle in all of this, is the experience that all behaviour takes place in a certain locality, a self-evident and banal truth. It is, however, interesting that in counselling sessions or learning processes this truth is not elaborated on and that the effect of these localities is given far too little attention.

A locality is a medium which conditions or promotes certain patterns of behaviour, or which - in connection with a clearly defined site – makes behaviour easier to describe. If you think of a certain kind of behaviour or a situation or experience, you always connect it with a locality, with all of its external features.  

To speak about localities means evoking concrete powers of recollection and imagination (objectively-supported imagination and thought).

 Personification is very important in this process. There are hardly any localities that lack identifiable persons, whose factual or desired behaviour can be categorised. By means of the medium of locality, personal behaviour can be more plausibly, more clearly and thus more easily discussed.

Given this degree of significance, localities afford knowledge of details otherwise seen as unimportant. And, as is well known, so-called details can be decisive when it comes to understanding certain processes.

The description of behaviour or changes in behaviour is thus always linked up to a locality. Social psychological connections, even anthropological laws, can be recognised in a social geography.


All information belong to the copyright of Szenario-Plan-Methode of Dr. Michael Beck.

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