Strategic Thinking: Strategy's Orphan

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An overview of strategic thinking, with a particular focus on how to do environmental scanning to provide information and data to inform that thinking.

Transcript of Strategic Thinking: Strategy's Orphan

  • Strategic Thinking: Strategys Orphan

    Maree ConwayThinking Futures

  • A bit about meLong and good career in CAEs, TAFE, universities2007.integrating long term thinking into strategy development, using futures approachesManaged their planning units1999-20052005-2007

  • A bit of theory around strategic thinking

    Process

    Environmental Scanning

    Take-awaysThis Presentation

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

    Its 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

  • 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?

  • PositioningFitDistinctivenessImpact

    Long term context for decision making today

  • Strategic ThinkingLong Term ThinkingForesightFutures ThinkingOut of the box

    Taking a big picture AND long picture view of your context

  • Strategic Decision Making

  • Strategic PlanningDocumentImplementTrack MonitorReport

  • 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.

  • Making strategic decisions in an uncertain contextFocusWorldviewsInvolve manyScan, analyse, interpretThink and imagineTest, question, challengeEnsure relevance and plausibility for your organisationTHENDecide, write your plan, implement and monitor

  • Long-term

    TIMEHORIZON

    Short-termNarrowSCOPE OF INFORMATION GATHERINGBroadAdapted from Choo, Information Management for the Intelligent Organization, 1998

    Where environmental scanning fits

  • Types of FuturesTimeTodayFutures Cone developed by Clem Bezold

  • Where to Focus ESTimeToday(Trends)(Deep Drivers)

  • 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?

  • Doing ES

  • Open Minds

  • What might seem real to you probably wont seem as real to the next person.

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

    Perceptions

  • Need to challenge your filters so that you dont miss anything that might be important.

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

    Andtry and understand the worldviews of the people you are scanning.Worldviews

  • WorldviewsWhat 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 SpotsWhat might we miss because of our blind spots?

  • Then decide who scansStaffExecutive TeamBoard

    Someone has to coordinate, manage and communicate findings

  • Butthey have to be trained.

  • Focus

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

    Focusing your Scanning

  • 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, andbroad, global forces.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.

    The anchor

  • What do you look for?

  • OrganisationIndustryLearningEducationalGamingFundingEngagementOnlineSustainabilityVocationalImperativeThe External Environment

  • OrganisationGlobalIndustryTechnologyLifestyleValuesPoliticsEconomyEnvironmentDemographics &generational changeLearningEducationalGamingFundingEngagementOnlineSustainabilityVocationalImperativeThe External EnvironmentGlobalisation

  • OrganisationGlobalIndustryTechnologyLifestyleValuesPoliticsEconomyEnvironmentDemographics &generational changeLearningEducational GamingFundingEngagementOnlineSustainabilityVocationalImperativeThe External EnvironmentGlobalisationWildcardWildcardWildcardWildcard

  • Trends And Emerging IssuesEmerging IssuesTrendsMainstreamTimeNumber of cases; degree of public awarenessFew cases, local focusGlobal, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrendsAdapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett RogersInnovatorsEarly adoptersLate AdoptersLate MajorityLaggardsTodayTime from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years

  • Trends And Emerging IssuesEmerging IssuesTrendsMainstreamTimeNumber of cases; degree of public awarenessScientists, artists, radicals, mysticsNewspapers, magazines, websites, journalsGovernment InstitutionsFew cases, local focusGlobal, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrendsAdapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett RogersInnovatorsEarly adoptersLate AdoptersLate MajorityLaggardsTodayTime from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 years

  • Trends And Emerging IssuesEmerging IssuesTrendsMainstreamTimeNumber of cases; degree of public awarenessScientists, artists, radicals, mysticsNewspapers, magazines, websites, journalsGovernment InstitutionsFew cases, local focusGlobal, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrendsAdapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett RogersInnovatorsEarly adoptersLate AdoptersLate MajorityLaggardsTodayTime from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 yearsMost scanning takes place here

  • Trends And Emerging IssuesEmerging IssuesTrendsMainstreamTimeNumber of cases; degree of public awarenessScientists, artists, radicals, mysticsNewspapers, magazines, websites, journalsGovernment InstitutionsFew cases, local focusGlobal, multiple dispersed cases, trends and megatrendsAdapted from the work of Graham Molitor and Wendy Schultz, and Everett RogersInnovatorsEarly adoptersLate AdoptersLate MajorityLaggardsTodayTime from emerging issue to mainstream varies between 18-36 yearsBut we need to look on the fringe as well

  • Extrapolations of the past and present, not future factsCounter-trendsWildcardsUncertain future trajectoriesWhat assumptions underpin your thinking?Using TrendsBut dont get lost in the data smog!

  • Trends dont 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

  • Starts with a shift in values/perspectives need to search at the fringesEmergence people start to talk about it, but a minority easier to influence nowChampion look for the thought leaders and rebelsDefining event brings the issue to public attention morphs into a trend/harder to shape and influenceEmerging Issues Analysis

  • 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 Dators Second Law of the Future. Namely, Any useful idea about the future should appear to be ridiculous.Emerging Issues AnalysisJim Dator, US Futurist

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

    Good for what if questions.

    Emerging Issues

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

    Emerging Issues

  • First, assume you miss important signalsUse the three times testTest ideas with others inside and outsideTrust intuitionTest the signal in the future

    Where are the outliers? What are your mavericks saying?Emerging Issues

  • 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

  • TrendwatchingFuture ScannerBrain ReserveShaping TomorrowNow and NextThe Tomorrow ProjectSRIC-BIArlington Institute (wildcards)

    Some Scanning Sites

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

    Looking for

  • NewFirstIdeaChangeSurpriseOpportunityThreatLooking 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 200