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Strategic Thinking: Strategy's Orphan

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Information about Strategic Thinking: Strategy's Orphan

Published on August 15, 2008

Author: mkconway

Source: slideshare.net

Description

An overview of strategic thinking, with a particular focus on how to do environmental scanning to provide information and data to inform that thinking.
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Strategic Thinking: Strategy’s Orphan Maree Conway Thinking Futures

A bit about me Long and good career in CAEs, TAFE, universities 2007….integrating long term thinking into strategy development, using futures approaches Managed their planning units 1999-2005 2005-2007

A bit of theory around strategic thinking Process Environmental Scanning Take-aways This Presentation

A bit of theory around strategic thinking

Process

Environmental Scanning

Take-aways

 

 

Improvement action identified/changes to plans identified Making VU 2016: A Statement of Purpose Strategic vision and objectives University Priorities 2008-2010 Outcomes & Strategies to implement Unit Strategic Plans 2008-2010 Faculties, Schools & Service areas Implementation of University Priority strategies Internal & External Planning Inputs Ongoing environmental scanning Educational & societal trends Government policy drivers Legislation University cross-sectoral strategies Other University Plans (eg OHS, Disability, Staff Equity etc) SPDP: individual Staff Plans Quality Improvement Reviews (QIRs) Approval of operational plans Review of current year ’ s performance Reviewed each year in first half of year Reviewed and updated in August/September; finalised following QIRs in November Held in November each year University Budget Process Iterative process to align budgets and plans Budget sign-off at end September Quarterly Budget Reviews Department Plans Current until 2016 QIR Inputs Organisational Unit QIR Portfolios Faculty Review Outcomes Annual Course Reporting Course Review Subject Evaluation Outcomes AQTF outcomes AUQA Follow up

Internal & External Planning Inputs

Ongoing environmental scanning

Educational & societal trends

Government policy drivers

Legislation

University cross-sectoral strategies

Other University Plans (eg OHS, Disability, Staff Equity etc)

The plan itself is not the critical element of your planning process. It’s the process and the thinking that goes into the decisions about what goes into your plan.

The plan itself is not the critical element of your planning process.

It’s the process and the thinking that goes into the decisions about what goes into your plan.

Everyone can think strategically if that capacity is surfaced and used. Tapping into strategic thinking across the organisation increases the likelihood of successful implementation. Strategic Thinking

Everyone can think strategically if that capacity is surfaced and used.

Tapping into strategic thinking across the organisation increases the likelihood of successful implementation.

Strategy without people is strategy without a future...

You want me to think about what!!

You develop strategy for the FUTURE to inform decision making and action today

Too many decisions to make, not enough time or information to make them properly?

Positioning Fit Distinctiveness Impact Long term context for decision making today

Positioning

Fit

Distinctiveness

Impact

Long term context for decision making today

Strategic Thinking Generating Options What might happen? Strategic Decision Making Making choices What will we do? Strategic Planning Taking Action How will we do it? Options Decisions Actions

Strategic Thinking Long Term Thinking Foresight Futures Thinking Out of the box Taking a big picture AND long picture view of your context

Long Term Thinking

Foresight

Futures Thinking

Out of the box

Taking a big picture AND long picture view of your context

Strategic Decision Making

Strategic Planning Document Implement Track Monitor Report

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them (Albert Einstein).

Challenge your assumptions

Old thinking…

New thinking…

New thinking…

New thinking…

The Broad Process

Environmental scanning is at the heart of your strategy development process. It locates your organisation in its external environment. It combines information and data with the knowledge held by your staff.

Environmental scanning is at the heart of your strategy development process.

It locates your organisation in its external environment.

It combines information and data with the knowledge held by your staff.

Making strategic decisions in an uncertain context Focus Worldviews Involve many Scan, analyse, interpret Think and imagine Test, question, challenge Ensure relevance and plausibility for your organisation THEN Decide, write your plan, implement and monitor

Focus

Worldviews

Involve many

Scan, analyse, interpret

Think and imagine

Test, question, challenge

Ensure relevance and plausibility for your organisation

THEN

Decide, write your plan, implement and monitor

 

Long-term TIME HORIZON Short-term Narrow SCOPE OF INFORMATION GATHERING Broad Adapted from Choo, Information Management for the Intelligent Organization, 1998 Where environmental scanning fits… Competitor Intelligence understanding the nature of our competitors and their likely responses to change Competitive Intelligence understanding how our competitors interact with the business and market environment in which they operate Business Intelligence understanding the present and future environments with a focus on future competitive environments Environmental Scanning developing a broad understanding of the external environment Social Intelligence understanding how a country uses its intelligence (knowledge industry and information networks) to meet its developmental challenges Future View building a long-term foresight view about the future of the country and the planet

Narrow SCOPE OF INFORMATION GATHERING Broad

Adapted from Choo, Information Management for the Intelligent Organization, 1998

Types of Futures Time Today Futures Cone developed by Clem Bezold Possible Plausible Probable Preferable Scenario “ Wildcard”

Where to Focus ES Time Today (Trends) ( Deep Drivers) Plausible Probable

How robust do we want our planning inputs to be? Breadth – how wide are we looking? Depth – are seriously are we questioning? Distance – how far ahead are we looking? Why do it this way?

How robust do we want our planning inputs to be?

Breadth – how wide are we looking?

Depth – are seriously are we questioning?

Distance – how far ahead are we looking?

Doing ES

Open Minds

What might seem real to you probably won’t seem as real to the next person. How you filter information to create meaning is critical to understand. Perceptions

What might seem real to you probably won’t seem as real to the next person.

How you filter information to create meaning is critical to understand.

Need to challenge your filters so that you don’t miss anything that might be important. Understand your filters and those for whom you are doing the scanning. And…try and understand the worldviews of the people you are scanning. Worldviews

Need to challenge your filters so that you don’t miss anything that might be important.

Understand your filters and those for whom you are doing the scanning.

And…try and understand the worldviews of the people you are scanning.

Worldviews What might you miss because of your worldview and internal filters?

Blind spots emerge from the past. What changes were missed in the past and why? In what areas? Who in your industry has fewer blind spots/picks up weak signals better than others? Blind Spots

Blind spots emerge from the past.

What changes were missed in the past and why?

In what areas?

Who in your industry has fewer blind spots/picks up weak signals better than others?

Blind Spots What might we miss because of our blind spots?

Then decide who scans Staff Executive Team Board Someone has to coordinate, manage and communicate findings

Staff

Executive Team

Board

Someone has to coordinate, manage and communicate findings

But…they have to be trained.

But…they have to be trained.

Focus

Lots of information out there, so how to focus effort? Focusing your Scanning

Lots of information out there, so how to focus effort?

What is the key strategic issue? This is the focal question. What do we need to know about the issue? These are the factors that will influence the decision. What are trends and drivers of change affecting these factors? This becomes the focus for environmental scanning: industry specific, and broad, global forces. The anchor

What is the key strategic issue?

This is the focal question.

What do we need to know about the issue?

These are the factors that will influence the decision.

What are trends and drivers of change affecting these factors?

This becomes the focus for environmental scanning:

industry specific, and

broad, global forces.

So, the core of scanning work is looking for trends and emerging issues that relate to the strategic issue or focal question now and into the future. The anchor

So, the core of scanning work is looking for trends and emerging issues that relate to the strategic issue or focal question now and into the future.

What do you look for?

Organisation Industry Learning Educational Gaming Funding Engagement Online Sustainability Vocational Imperative The External Environment

Organisation Global Industry Technology Lifestyle Values Politics Economy Environment Demographics & generational change Learning Educational Gaming Funding Engagement Online Sustainability Vocational Imperative The External Environment Globalisation

Organisation Global Industry Technology Lifestyle Values Politics Economy Environment Demographics & generational change Learning Educational Gaming Funding Engagement Online Sustainability Vocational Imperative The External Environment Globalisation Wildcard Wildcard Wildcard Wildcard

Trends And Emerging Issues Emerging Issues Trends Mainstream Time Number of cases; degree of public awareness Few cases, local focus Global, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrends Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett Rogers Innovators Early adopters Late Adopters Late Majority Laggards Today Time from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years

Trends And Emerging Issues Emerging Issues Trends Mainstream Time Number of cases; degree of public awareness Scientists, artists, radicals, mystics Newspapers, magazines, websites, journals Government Institutions Few cases, local focus Global, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrends Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett Rogers Innovators Early adopters Late Adopters Late Majority Laggards Today Time from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years

Trends And Emerging Issues Emerging Issues Trends Mainstream Time Number of cases; degree of public awareness Scientists, artists, radicals, mystics Newspapers, magazines, websites, journals Government Institutions Few cases, local focus Global, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrends Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett Rogers Innovators Early adopters Late Adopters Late Majority Laggards Today Time from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years Most scanning takes place here

Trends And Emerging Issues Emerging Issues Trends Mainstream Time Number of cases; degree of public awareness Scientists, artists, radicals, mystics Newspapers, magazines, websites, journals Government Institutions Few cases, local focus Global, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrends Adapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett Rogers Innovators Early adopters Late Adopters Late Majority Laggards Today Time from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years But we need to look on the fringe as well

Extrapolations of the past and present, not future facts Counter-trends Wildcards Uncertain future trajectories What assumptions underpin your thinking? Using Trends But don’t get lost in the data smog!

Extrapolations of the past and present, not future facts

Counter-trends

Wildcards

Uncertain future trajectories

What assumptions underpin your thinking?

Trends don’t tell you anything – someone has to interpret the trend for it to be meaningful. Otherwise you are engaged in trend spotting/watching as opposed to trend analysis . Using Trends

Trends don’t tell you anything – someone has to interpret the trend for it to be meaningful.

Otherwise you are engaged in trend spotting/watching as opposed to trend analysis .

Starts with a shift in values/perspectives – need to search at the fringes Emergence – people start to talk about it, but a minority – easier to influence now Champion – look for the thought leaders and rebels Defining event – brings the issue to public attention – morphs into a trend/harder to shape and influence Emerging Issues Analysis

Starts with a shift in values/perspectives – need to search at the fringes

Emergence – people start to talk about it, but a minority – easier to influence now

Champion – look for the thought leaders and rebels

Defining event – brings the issue to public attention – morphs into a trend/harder to shape and influence

Because emerging issues are weak, obscure, crazy, and fragile, good practical people usually ignore or ridicule them. Since these “useful” ideas are not part of their commonsense, people conclude they are nonsense. And this fact led me to formulate Dator’s Second Law of the Future. Namely, “Any useful idea about the future should appear to be ridiculous”. Emerging Issues Analysis Jim Dator, US Futurist

Because emerging issues are weak, obscure, crazy, and fragile, good practical people usually ignore or ridicule them. Since these “useful” ideas are not part of their commonsense, people conclude they are nonsense.

And this fact led me to formulate Dator’s Second Law of the Future. Namely, “Any useful idea about the future should appear to be ridiculous”.

Particularly useful for challenging long held assumptions about how things will be. Good for ‘what if’ questions. Emerging Issues

Particularly useful for challenging long held assumptions about how things will be.

Good for ‘what if’ questions.

How will I separate weak signals of real change from the noise? Emerging Issues

How will I separate weak signals of real change from the noise?

First, assume you miss important signals Use the ‘three times’ test Test ideas with others inside and outside Trust intuition Test the signal in the future Where are the outliers? What are your mavericks saying? Emerging Issues

First, assume you miss important signals

Use the ‘three times’ test

Test ideas with others inside and outside

Trust intuition

Test the signal in the future

Where are the outliers? What are your mavericks saying?

Where to Look

Newspapers, websites, blogs, wikis, podcasts, videos, news sites, newsletter, magazines, books, book reviews, presentations, reports, surveys, interviews, seminars, chat rooms, trend observers, advertisers, philosophers sociologists, management gurus, consultants, researchers, experts, universities. Where to look…

Newspapers, websites, blogs, wikis, podcasts, videos, news sites, newsletter, magazines, books, book reviews, presentations, reports, surveys, interviews, seminars, chat rooms, trend observers, advertisers, philosophers sociologists, management gurus, consultants, researchers, experts, universities.

Trendwatching Future Scanner Brain Reserve Shaping Tomorrow Now and Next The Tomorrow Project SRIC-BI Arlington Institute (wildcards) Some Scanning Sites

Trendwatching

Future Scanner

Brain Reserve

Shaping Tomorrow

Now and Next

The Tomorrow Project

SRIC-BI

Arlington Institute (wildcards)

Identify opinion leaders, the voice in the wilderness on the fringe: Expert Professional Pundit Amateur Fringe Looking for…

Identify opinion leaders, the voice in the wilderness on the fringe:

Expert

Professional

Pundit

Amateur

Fringe

New First Idea Change Surprise Opportunity Threat Looking for…

New

First

Idea

Change

Surprise

Opportunity

Threat

Ideally, a scan hit identifies an emerging issue that is objectively new even to experts, confirms or is confirmed by additional scan hits, and that has been identified in time for social dialogue, impact assessment, and policy formation. Wendy Schultz, Infinite Futures 2004 Looking for…

Ideally, a scan hit identifies an emerging issue that is objectively new even to experts, confirms or is confirmed by additional scan hits, and that has been identified in time for social dialogue, impact assessment, and policy formation.

Wendy Schultz, Infinite Futures 2004

We need to engage in outrageous thinking about learning environments. Now, I realize that outrageous means exceeding all bounds of reasonableness; it means something shocking. However, I think that we need to deal with concepts of space and education that are indeed shocking. We need to realize that reasonableness is defined by present context. We further need to realize that what is unreasonableness today may be very reasonable in the 21 st century and it is for the 21 st century that we are contemplating education space. Hunkins, Reinventing Learning Spaces, 1994 http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/learning_environments/hunkins.html Thinking Outrageously

We need to engage in outrageous thinking about learning environments. Now, I realize that outrageous means exceeding all bounds of reasonableness; it means something shocking. However, I think that we need to deal with concepts of space and education that are indeed shocking. We need to realize that reasonableness is defined by present context. We further need to realize that what is unreasonableness today may be very reasonable in the 21 st century and it is for the 21 st century that we are contemplating education space.

Hunkins, Reinventing Learning Spaces, 1994

http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/learning_environments/hunkins.html

Do your analysis in a group, not as individuals. The aim is to look for divergence and value difference – many voices, not just the loudest. Explore what might be possible for your organisation. Then, consider what is possible today.

Analysis

Some questions to ask Whose voice is being heard? Who says this is fact or fiction? Who wins, who loses? Who gets left behind? What are we missing? Then ask, what does it mean for us? What are the opportunities?

Whose voice is being heard?

Who says this is fact or fiction?

Who wins, who loses? Who gets left behind?

What are we missing?

Then ask, what does it mean for us?

What are the opportunities?

Identify the trends that are most relevant for your organisation. Look for inter-connections and cross impacts among the trends Use scenario planning to explore what might happen in the future. Assume nothing. Dismiss nothing.

Strategic Thinking Generating Options What might happen? Strategic Decision Making Making choices What will we do? Strategic Planning Taking Action How will we do it? Options Decisions Actions

Make the decision

Write the plan

 

Convincing your people Knowing how to do it is one thing, but…how do you convince your people that this is worth doing?

Knowing how to do it is one thing, but…how do you convince your people that this is worth doing?

Convincing your people CEO with an open mind - willing to listen and hear alternative ideas Organisation that recognises the need to change – the present doesn’t work any more Willingness to open the strategy process up to staff – not being afraid of losing control

CEO with an open mind - willing to listen and hear alternative ideas

Organisation that recognises the need to change – the present doesn’t work any more

Willingness to open the strategy process up to staff – not being afraid of losing control

How? Staff driven environmental scanning process Representative reference group – staff from across the organisation Staff Workshop before the Board/Executive workshop – identify what staff think is important in the future Strategy Workshop – staff, Executive, Board and externals Communication plan

Staff driven environmental scanning process

Representative reference group – staff from across the organisation

Staff Workshop before the Board/Executive workshop – identify what staff think is important in the future

Strategy Workshop – staff, Executive, Board and externals

Communication plan

How? Be brave…

Be brave…

Take-Aways

Take the time to make this work…and it will take time.

Take the time to make this work…and it will take time.

Involve your people from the beginning

Continuous Activity Environmental scanning Regular strategic events Tap into global networks (they do a lot of the work for you) Make it someone’s job.

Environmental scanning

Regular strategic events

Tap into global networks (they do a lot of the work for you)

Make it someone’s job.

Question and challenge all those assumptions that underpin how you see the world - and what you don’t see.

...because what works today will probably not work for those who follow you in the future...

 

 

Most importantly, it’s about being ready for the future rather than waiting for it to bite you...

Questions?

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