Forecasting And Multiple Scenario Planning And How To Use Them

Forecasting and Multiple Scenario Plans

No one can predict the future, but that does not stop people from wanting to find ways where they can get an idea of what is to come. Forecast planning and scenario planning work on this principle by giving you the ability to have an idea of what is just around the corner. Forecast planning and scenario planning are used in a wide range of business sectors, as well as in our personal life. If you have thought about asking your boss for a raise and have gone through how this request will go, then you have done forecast planning. When a company releases its budget for the coming year, they are forecasting how their sales will be in relation to the costs that they will need to pay.

It is all about determining, to the greatest degree of accuracy, just what is going to happen down the road.

Forecasting is the process by which you make statements about events when you do not know what the outcome is going to be. It is often called making a best-estimation of what is going to happen. When someone asks you if it is going to rain, you make your best-estimation by saying that it might, but you cannot guarantee that it will. There are plenty of sectors and applications that use forecast planning, including:

  1. Supply chain management
  2. Meteorology
  3. Transport planning
  4. Economics
  5. Technology
  6. Earthquake forecasting
  7. Land use forecasting
  8. Product forecasting
  9. Sport team performance
  10. Political forecasting
  11. Sales forecasting

Scenario planning is a strategic planning method that many organizations and individuals use to create long-term plans that are typically very flexible. Military intelligence will often do strategic planning through scenarios like simulation games that test whether or not a certain strategy is going to work. Business, which is often a war zone of its own, has latched onto the concept of strategic planning. Royal Dutch/Shell is one company that has done so, using scenario planning to determine changing mindsets from around the world.

The main thing to remember with scenario planning and forecasting is that they are typically wrong. This is not because the forecasters do not know what they are doing, but simply that it is not possible to predict the future with any certainty. There are far too many variables to make any sort of prediction concrete. This is why weather forecasters no longer say “Rain tomorrow”. They say “40 percent chance of precipitation.” They do this because if there is only a light drizzle, they are covered by the precipitation part and if it does not rain, they can show there was only 60 percent chance of it not raining.

Scenarios are very important for business, military and people in their day-to-day lives. The reason for this is that people can determine what course of action is going to be best. Here are some examples:

  1. A military campaign against an enemy needs to be run through scenarios. Various tactics will be determined and put against how the enemy is predicted to respond. The tactic that gets the best results over several scenario runs will probably be the campaign that is used.
  2. Investors want to know how the market is going to move. So, they run scenarios using specialized tools to determine, based on past data, how the market may move down the road. This gives them a better understanding of how to invest, thereby hopefully lowering the overall risk that they face. With scenario planning and forecasting, investors can see both the upsides and downsides. For example, they may determine there is a good chance that the stock they have is going to fall in price. So, they sell the stock and when it does fall, they have saved themselves from losing money.
  3. Weather forecasters will use data from the past to formulate an idea of how the weather is going to turn based on data they have at that moment. What we mean by this is that if a low pressure system is approaching, and it is April, the weather forecasters will look at how low pressures affected April weather in the past and use that as a way to determine what the weather is going to be like.
  4. Individuals will use scenario planning to determine how they should respond to things in their life. For example, a person will be looking at buying a car but they will have to run through scenarios of how they are going to pay for it. So, they run a scenario that figures out the costs of having a high-priced sports car, with its lower gas mileage and higher insurance, versus a hybrid that will cost less and save the person money. Through the scenarios, comparing costs with income, the individual can determine if they will be able to afford the sports car. Without this scenario planning, the person may buy the sports car and end up not being able to pay for it.

It is important to remember the difference between scenario planning and forecasting. Scenario planning looks at several different futures that may come about, while forecasting only looks at one. Therefore, scenario planning offers you more of an opportunity to make the right decision since forecasting can only see one future and there is a good chance that future will not happen.

Scenario planning gives us the ability to foresee, plan for and deal with surprises and problems. If we do scenario planning that shows us moving to a new town will cost us more than benefit us, we can eliminate the regret of moving to the town by not moving.

With scenario planning, unlike forecasting, you can have a backup plan. You can have several scenarios so that if one does not pan out, you can move to the next most likely scenario and so on. Remember the adages of ‘Plan for the worst, hope for the best’ and ‘Chance favours the prepared mind.’
First Published: EntrepreneurJourney.com Apr 24, 2010

How Safe Are Your Cosmetics

 Safe and Toxic Cosmetics   

Safe and Toxic Cosmetics

 

How to Check the Toxic Chemicals in Your Cosmetics

Whether you are in Canada or in USA, the cosmetics you are using most likely have a few toxic ingredients in them and they did not require any approval from any authorities to hit the market. Worse yet, Canadian law does not mandate listing all ingredients in your cosmetics and manufacturers can easily hide harmful ingredients. Today, I will list some common toxic ingredients and show you how you can check your cosmetics before using them to ensure you and your family’s safety.

HereAre Some:

DBP/Dibutyl Phthalate - The European Union has banned using this in cosmetics. Potential reproductive, immune system, liver, kidney, and neurotoxin. A hazardous air and water pollutant and harmful to wildlife.

Paraben - Used in many cosmetics. Possible endocrine disruptor and can cause cancer.

BHA and BHT - Used in moisturizers. Possible endocrine disruptor and can cause cancer.

Phthalate - Used in nail products and many cosmetics. Possible endocrine disruptor and can cause cancer. Harmful to wildlife.

DEA/MEA/TEA - Used in moisturizers and shampoos. A respiratory, neurotoxicity, and immunotoxicity hazard. Harmful to wildlife and can cause cancer.

Petrolatum/Petroleum Jelly - The European Union has banned this using in cosmetics. Used in moisturizers, hair products, lipsticks, lip balms, etc. Can cause cancer.

Parfum - Some fragrance ingredients are harmful and can cause asthma, cancer, etc.

The above are only a few to mention. There are so many more harmful ingredients are hidden in our daily cosmetics. To find out more, check the links mentioned below or search online for “toxic or harmful chemicals in cosmetics.”

How to Check How Toxic Your Cosmetics Are

The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, provides a database to check more than 78,000 products on their website here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. You will find most of the known brands here and many not-so-known brands that manufacture low toxicity cosmetics. I recently switched from most of the well-known brands to not-so-common brands after finding out that most of the brands I trusted since I was born are actually very toxic.

The David Suzuki Foundation, a Canadian environmental organization, provides helpful publications to detect dirty ingredients in your cosmetics. Here are some links:
12 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Cosmetics and
What’s Inside? That Counts: A Survey of Toxic Ingredients in Our Cosmetics
Natural Skincare Authority provides an A to Z list of toxins here:
The "A" to "Z" Of Toxins in Skin Care

And Don’t Forget

Natural - If you see “Natural” on the level, it does not really mean anything. Only one (or more than one) ingredient has to be derived from a natural source and the rest can be full of toxic ingredients.

Organic - If you see “Organic” on a cosmetic level, 95 percent of the ingredients must be organic and the rest can still be non-organic or toxic ingredients.

Made with Organic Ingredients - If you see “Made with Organic Ingredients” on a cosmetic level, 70 percent of the ingredients must be organic and the rest can still be non-organic or toxic ingredients.
First Punished: Jan 26, 2013 simplepersonaldevelopment.com

 

Safe Fish To Eat

Safe Fish You Should Eat

Today, I am not going to write about the benefits of eating fish. Most of us know about it, and if you are not aware, do some research online. I try to eat fish every other week or even more often. However, if you don’t pick the right fish to eat, it may do more harm than good due to its contamination. I am going to present my safe fish list and unsafe fish list chart today to make your life little easier on fish shopping. Keep in mind that there are much more fish than what I have mentioned here. I am just presenting those that I like. If you want more, use the links I provided at the end or search online.

My Top Safe Fish List

1. Anchovy - Omega 3
2. Arctic Char - Omega 3
3. Atlantic mackerel ( Avoid King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel) - Omega 3
4. Haddock
5. Halibut
6. Herring - Omega 3
7. Ocean Perch (Alaska, Pacific. US Pacific, Newfoundland)
8. Pollock (Boston bluefish) - Omega 3
9. Farmed Rainbow Trout (avoid wild trout) - Omega 3  
10. Salmon (eat canned, Chum, Coho, Pink, Wild Pacific, sockeye, Chinook, steelhead salmon. Avoid farmed, Atlantic salmon) - Omega 3
11. Sardines – Omega 3
12. Smelt - Omega 3
13. Snapper
14. Sole (US Pacific English Sole)
15. Tilapia (eat farmed Canada or America Tilapia. Avoid farmed Asia, South America Tilapia)
16. Tuna (eat canned light, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, yellowfin, tongol. Avoid white, albacore, bluefin, maguro, toro tuna) - Omega 3 

NB - Omega 3 refers to fish high in Omega 3.

Sources:
http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Food-safety/Get-the-reel-scoop-on-fish-and-mercury.aspx
http://www.toronto.ca/health/fishandmercury/pdf/guide_eat_fish.pdf
http://intraspec.ca/fish.php#.UF6WaI1lSV8

First Published: Nov 19, 2012 simplepersonaldevelopment.com

 

Health Risks of Inactivity

Inactivity Kills Like Cancer

A recent study published in the Lancet shows that inactivity, or lack of exercise, causes as many deaths as smoking across the globe. How many deaths is inactivity causing? The answer is an alarming number of 5.3 million deaths annually.

It is estimated that about one adult in every three are not active enough. Inactivity is causing one death in ten due to diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so on. The Lancet report also finds that populations in rich countries were less active than poor countries due to various factors. Let’s look at some other numbers:

Inactivity Causes:

Heart Disease = 6%
Type 2 Diabetes = 9%
Breast Cancer = 10%
Colon Cancer = 10%
Premature Deaths = 9%

These numbers are based on data from 2008

It is recommended that you do 2 to 3 hours of exercise per week combining aerobic activity and strength training. A combination of moderate and vigorous activity is recommended. Moderate aerobic exercises include walking the dog, walking to the grocery, swimming, etc. Vigorous aerobic exercises include jogging, running, playing tennis, squash, etc. Strength training exercises are those to work on your major muscle groups such as arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, hips, and legs with the use of weight machines, resistance bands, weight bars, dumbbells, etc. Strength training activities should be done at least twice per week.

First published on Aug 18, 2012 on simplepersonaldevelopment.com