Reeves For some people, the term strategic planning brings to mind a disciplined and thoughtful process that links the values, mission, and goals of a school system with a set of coherent strategies and tasks designed to achieve those goals.
Posted on December 18, by Konrad An example of ineffective strategy is a dry, one-inch-thick strategic business planning videos that people only refer to when they need some market numbers, or a PowerPoint slide deck full of esoteric whiz-bang charts put together by a team of consultants.
Powerful strategy is the living, breathing force behind the actions of an organization. It is the bridge that connects people from where they are to where they want to be. How can we bring this kind of life and boldness into our strategic planning efforts?
I propose that creativity is the key to this, and that there are a variety of tools and techniques that are well suited to engaging people and tapping into their creative juices.
The word brainstorming has become an ubiquitous term for creative thinking. The core principle of brainstorming is to suspend judgment during the generation phase of thinking.
Analysis, prioritization, and judgment take place after ideas are generated. This frees the mind to make connections and abstractions, shift perspectives, and explore alternatives without the constraints and structure that judgment brings.
Unfortunately, typical group brainstorming sessions fail to be productive for a variety of reasons — judgment creeps in, ideas are not tracked, connections are not supported, etc.
How can brainstorming be made more effective? I find that facilitated sessions with mind mapping software provide tremendous advantages over typical brainstorming sessions. Ideas can be captured and tracked with total freedom of association.
Through powerful yet simple visualization, new ideas and connections are encouraged. At the end of a session, the group has a map of all the ideas generated in the session, which encourages further connections and ideas to develop after the meeting. Techniques of improv are widely trained in the entertainment arts music, theater, and dancebut it is not well known that it can be a powerful tool in business planning.
Its secret lies in suspending judgment and accessing the creativity of the present moment. There is no time to censor or evaluate, only to respond and build. When people who have a thorough understanding of their disciplines practice improvisation, the result can be the invention of new thought patterns, new structures, or new ways to act.
I use improv to help groups develop a more creative vision by asking them to improvise what their organization could be like at some point in the future, and capture their thinking in a tool called a Cover Story Vision.
The result can often include nuggets of creative possibility that are fresh and bold. Backcasting is the opposite of forecasting. Rather than predicting the future based on current trends or actions, we look at a possible future state and seek to understand what trends or actions would need to happen to get us there.
Backcasting is an incredibly useful tool for developing strategy, because it allows us to develop potential future states, or visions, and then work backwards to develop the actions and opportunities necessary to get us to those end states.
Thinking this way can lead to entirely new possibilities compared to working directly with strategy, as most organizations do.
The sheer number of variables, actions, and resource allocations involved in strategy can quickly make for a very complex problem. Most leaders respond to this complexity by learning to follow their gut or intuition.
Strategy tables can help. Doing this allows people to see new ideas and develop creative combinations of them. I use a visual planning tool called a Strategy Spectrum to work with groups with complex strategic choices, and it usually leads to a wider range of options and deeper insight into why the chosen strategy is the best option to pursue.
Human beings are natural storytellers. People in all times and places have told stories.Strategic planning moves business owners from a reactionary, short-term approach to a proactive, long-term perspective. Without strategic planning, consider the issues a privately held business owner faces including minimal profit, cash flow problems, stagnant growth, and complacency.
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Strategic Business Planning will optimize your company’s profitability, productivity and competitiveness. Organizations of all sizes who begin this critical process will be better positioned to understand their strengths, weaknesses, industry and marketplace.
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Strategic planning, carried out by senior members of a company's leadership team, is typically used to reaffirm corporate objectives and establish new ones, set goals, align resources and.
Jul 22, · Strategic planning often fails because it is nothing more than a static document. Unfortunately, formulation is the end goal for more businesses and organizations than you might imagine.