McKinsey Quarterly have a discussion happening on line on seven ways China might surprise us in 2009.  The suggestions range from China announcing that by 2020 half of their cars will be electric to banks in Taiwan merging with Chinese banks.

Each of the 7 is a plausible event, each is what people call a "game-changer" - and each could happen in the next few years.  For an individual organization, each might look more or less likely, and each would have a different level of impact - but smart organizations are of course already exploring potential scenarios like these for their business.  Unfortunately for these organizations, they are usually NOT doing such exploration and planning about how these things might impact their workforce - but they should!

One of the main reasons that people don't do this scenario work for workforce is that they don't know how to develop the right scenario conditions - you can't just Google "the things that might really impact my workforce over the next few years"!  But a good strategic workforce planning framework allows you to do this and more - and it's not rocket science!  And if you don't do it, you can be certain that your talent strategy is not going to be prepared for a "game changer".

Is your talent strategy prepared for surprises?