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Scenario Strategist, Facilitator, Speaker & Best-selling Business Author

An independent scenario strategist, facilitator, speaker, top-selling business author, lecturer and founding partner of mindofafox. Chantell Ilbury specialise in the use of scenarios to guide corporate teams through strategic conversations, especially in times of uncertainty. She works across a diverse array of sectors, but prefer working in energy, resources, mining, agriculture, transportation, industry and manufacturing.

Her work has taken her as far afield as the UK, Ireland, the US, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Ukraine, Australia, Jamaica, Kuwait, Singapore, India, Réunion Island, as well as throughout Africa.

She has also designed and presented lecture modules on strategy and scenario planning for a number of top business schools, and she is an experienced speaker on scenarios and effective strategy in times of uncertainty. Amongst the main areas that I am asked to speak on are strategic thinking and the structure of strategic conversations, business scenarios, global scenarios, global climate change scenarios and South African and African scenarios.

She holds a BSc in Chemistry, a post-graduate Higher Diploma in Education, an Executive MBA from the University Of Cape Town Graduate School Of Business, and I’ve studied Strategic
Negotiation through Harvard Business School in Boston.

Chantell was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and educated at Eveline High School before moving on to the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg where she completed a BSc. in Chemistry and a postgraduate Higher Diploma in Education.

In 2000 she was accepted to the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business Executive MBA programme. It was here that she first met Anglo American’s Clem Sunter and shared her ideas on scenario planning that lead to the writing of their best-selling books on scenarios and strategy – The Mind of a Fox, Games Foxes Play and Socrates and the Fox. In 2011 the three books were published together as The Fox Trilogy. Our 4th book, A Fox’s Tale: Insights from one of Africa’s most strategic thinkers, published by Penguin, was released at the end of June 2016


  • Experience in scenario thinking and scenario development, and the facilitation of strategic conversations;
  • The capacity to manage groups of people;
  • The ability to see the big picture (the interface between economic, social and political imperatives); identify the connections and patterns as well as the possible unintended consequences of actions; make sense of the complexities; and bring clarity to issues;
  • Lateral thinking and diversity of perspectives, and the capacity to balance and process multiple perspectives;
  • Capacity to identify, respect, develop and pool the individual talents of a company’s human resources, and manage teams with different skills;
  • The ability to work with executive and management teams at all levels of the business environment; i.e. international, national, and regional levels; as well as in different industries;
  • Game playing and creating leverage;
  • The capacity to quickly familiarise myself with the language and characteristics of any environment. This is especially the case in science and technology-based industries
  • The ability to cascade strategy through an organisation via process development and facilitation;
  • A natural affinity to embrace challenge and uncertainty;
  • Sensitivity towards the social dynamics amongst players – who are the different players in the game and what are their objectives;
  • Identifying critical questions that are often not normally considered;
  • The ability to sift through perspective clutter and identify opportunity;
  • A knowledge of Africa within a global perspective, and its myriad complexities;
  • The ability to listen critically, summarise and synthesise information, and then present it in a clear, communicable format.
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