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Canyon Leaping White Paper - 2013

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  • 1. Canyon Leaping January 2013
  • 2. Canyon Leaping Strategy Formulation from the Vision Side Table of Contents Introduction 2 History 3 Canyon Leaping Process 5 One Day Canyon Leaping Session 7 Glossary of Terms 8 Canyon Leaping Delphi Instrument 13Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 1
  • 3. Canyon Leaping Strategy Formulation from the Vision SideIntroductionCanyon Leaping is a dramatic departure from conventional approaches to strategyformulation.Take a look at the Canyon Leaping picture. Where are the people and where are theypointing? Tradition would have them standing on a strong foundation of awareness oftheir existing position and peering across to their possible future, trying to figure out howto get there.Conventional strategic planning processes are only able to ask the planning team how toget to what is probably a pretty vague, uncertain vision. Canyon Leaping has the teamstanding firmly on the Vision Side of the canyon, looking back across the canyon, talkingabout how they got here. Canyon Leaping is a process for strategy formulation from theVision side.Canyon Leaping assumes that planning from amidst where you are today, the Ending Side,is the least effective place from which leadership teams should plan for a new momentum.Your present position and momentum clouds your leadership team from seeing withclarity, much less wielding effectively, a shared vision. What you have become adept atdoing to survive may prove to be barriers to future success, including how you collaborateand make strategic decisions.Canyon Leaping is a process that frees your leadership team to formulate strategies from aposition of confidence and clarity – the position of looking back across the canyon from asuccessful future.Leadership teams, or “Canyon Leapers”, are given the process, skills, tools, and expertfacilitation needed to confidently "leap" to the Vision side and vividly paint their SharedVision of success for each of the most important stakeholders. This perspective is thenused as the platform for planning how they got here, the BIG IDEAS, and what Baggage theyleft behind.Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 2
  • 4. Canyon Leaping is made possible by the combination of experienced facilitation and thesafe environment created with the Virtual WINs facilitation tools and the Canyon Leapingprocess. Delivered as rapidly as a one day face-to-face session where need and opportunitydemands, or as an in-depth, multi-team, virtual process lasting weeks.Changing Your Momentum – The Case for Canyon LeapingThe grip of your existing momentum is overwhelming. Fabulous when you are riding ontop in a defensible position in a growing and profitable market. Not so great when facedwith the certainty that continuing on the present course will lead to disaster. Planning thecreation of a new order of things is extraordinarily difficult. The massive debris at thebottom of the cliffs of failed businesses, failed initiatives, and failed projects attests.Therefore, the first question to answer is whether or not you need a new momentum?If the answer is “No”, then the focus is on getting the most out of the momentum you have,planning from within the midst of your momentum. ”Navigating the Whitewater” of thewaves of change is the strategic planning process we facilitate for a leadership team tobuild and wield shared foresight, make strategic and tactical decisions, and align all of theirefforts.If, however, the answer is “Yes”, that a new momentum is needed, I submit that planningfrom within the maelstrom you are in is the least effective, least efficient, most risky, andmost costly place from which to plan. This is the crumbling, Ending Side of your canyon.Get the heck out of there!“Canyon Leaping” is the strategic planning process where planning is done from the VisionSide of the canyon where the new momentum is already successful. In Canyon Leaping,teams leap from the clutches of their existing momentum and vividly create their sharedvision of success – and then plan how they succeeded.One of the first lessons learned by Canyon Leapers – usually recognized by an audible “I GetIt” mid-way through as someone has a “BFB/BFO” (blinding flash of brilliance/blindingflash of the obvious) moment – “Even I have to change!” In Canyon Leaping, everythingchanges to create the new momentum, the new order of things.In times of significant, material changes such as most are now experiencing, “Yes” forchanging your momentum is far more likely the correct answer to the question of whetheryou need a new momentum. Canyon Leaping provides the means to do so with confidence.History of Canyon LeapingThis model for strategy formulation began in the 80’s when leading efforts to planstrategies for targeting the then emerging senior markets for innovations in housing,healthcare, and other services. Basically, middle-age and younger men in their 30s to 50swere planning for elderly women in their 70s, 80s, and beyond. Easy enough now to seewhy their assumptions might have been a little off (and generally still are, 25 years later).Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 3
  • 5. From new concepts in retirement housing, to the first teaching nursing home, to adult daycare, geriatric assessment programs, assisted living and home delivered services, weconducted the sophisticate market research from, not just about, the elderly women, andserved as the strategists for the entrepreneurs, developers, and agencies who werecharting new territory in serving the then emerging senior markets.As one Interior Designer stated, “this was the first time I was able to give my input on aproject prior to the architect putting pencil to paper.”These efforts were described in "The Integrated Project Team Approach to StrategicPlanning", in INSIGHTS, 1990, the journal published by the former National Association ofSenior Living Industries. Canyon Leaping has evolved into a comprehensive approach forthose who choose to be Strategically Opportunistic.Canyon Leaping efforts were greatly eased by the adoption in the 90’s of group decisionsupport technologies, what we now term “facilitation tools,” that enable teams to fearlesslyleap their Canyons and set clear strategies and tactics from a shared vision of success. Canyon Leaping Example: A global supply chain needed to design a new business model. Eighteen highly competent subject matter experts were convened. Using the Canyon Leaping process, they first decided that if fourteen agreed, all would support a decision. Then, after identifying the key stakeholders, they were challenged to “Leap the Canyon” and paint their vision of success for each stakeholder. With significant debate and discussion, and by continuously applying their decision criteria, they utilized anonymity and simultaneous exchange to rapidly build consensus. They then wielded this Shared Vision to identify the “Big Ideas” that got them over their Canyon, the “Baggage” left behind, high level maps of both the “As Is” and “To Be” processes and a detailed Action Plan with assignments, dependencies, and timeframes. Now, realistically, how long would such an effort take with traditional means? This effort took not 6 ½ months, nor 6 ½ weeks, not even 6 ½ days. It took 6 ½ hours! Now, this whole process can be done virtually, using Virtual WINs, though we certainly wouldn’t need to do everything in a single, sametime 6 ½ hour session.Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 4
  • 6. Canyon Leaping Process Strategy Formulation from the Vision SideDual Team Approach Knowledge Team – integration of both visiting and in-house top talent are charged with defining the planning process and assimilating the knowledge developed by the Canyon Leapers.Multi-Team Approach In complex efforts, multiple teams attack key areas independently, with the Knowledge Team assimilating the findings.Building Shared Foresight (Hindsight you will have from your Vision Side) Initial Internet Survey - Delphi Study Instrument – Multi-Iteration if needed Ignite & Tap Individual Creativity Identify Diversity of Misconceptions Societal Changes & Trends Assessment Consumer Changes & Trends Market Positioning Assessment Competitive & Complementary Assessment Technology Innovation Awareness Creativity Forums with Thought Leaders & Critical Experts Knowledge Team Assimilates & SharesVisioning – Wielding Shared Foresight Societal Vision Context Building Scenario Analysis Visual Visioning – Paint the Vision Knowledge Team Assimilates & SharesThis Side of the Canyon – Build Shared Awareness SWOT Analysis Spin Off Quick Hits - Remove Organizational Residue from Firefighting Knowledge Team Assimilates & SharesCanyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 5
  • 7. Vividly Paint the Vision – Team(s) Launched Supply the Vision Depth – Further Build Shared Foresight Society Consumers Industry Competitors Entity Alliances Individual Roles Knowledge Team Assimilates & Shares Gain Consensus on Further Shared Foresight Know what we know jointly Know what we know individually Create new knowledge Identify what we must assume Knowledge Team Assimilates & Shares Engage Your Extended Leadership Community Face-to-face sessions Large session “Igniter Summits” Web surveys Knowledge Team Assimilates & SharesGoal Formulation From the Vision Side – How did we get here? What did we accomplish? First cut as individuals and teams learn to use this perspective Knowledge Team Assimilates & SharesQuick Hits Capture ideas for accelerating short term growth Continuously build and wield Shared Foresight Knowledge Team Assimilates & SharesGap Analysis & Action Planning Identify key functional areas Identify BIG IDEAS Identify major ideas within each functional area Identify baggage left behind Identify major initiatives Action plan – assignments and timeframes for all actions Knowledge Team Assimilates & Shares Create an Innovation Environment Create a Canyon Leaping Collaboration EnvironmentCanyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 6
  • 8. Canyon Leaping – Accelerated Strategy Session Face-to-Face SessionTime Activity8:30 Ground Rules and Introductions8:40 Overview of Canyon Leaping8:45 “Perfect Meeting” Exercise Identify and discuss ideas Evaluate ideas Make assignments8:55 Establish Canyon Leaping Decision Rules Make decisions about making decisions before making decisions.9:00 Build Shared Foresight and Societal Vision Participants identify Waves of Change and begin building the context for their own Shared Vision (4 to 5 areas are discussed – e.g., economic, technological, societal, demographic, environmental, spiritual, etc.). Summarize in sub-groups, present, and discuss.10:00 Break10:15 Stakeholder Identification10:25 Prioritize Stakeholders – Identify most important stakeholders10:30 Paint Shared Vision Participants share images of success on the Vision side for each stakeholder. Assimilate and respond, summarize in sub-groups, present, and discuss.11:30 BIG IDEAS from the Vision Side Participants wield Shared Vision to identify the Big Ideas that got them over to the Vision side since you don’t cross canyons with little steps.11:50 Evaluate BIG IDEAS12:00 Lunch12:45 Baggage Drop – Shared Awareness Participants exchange knowledge and assumptions about the existing environment and what needs to be left behind on the Ending Side of the Canyon. Identify and clear out the Dead Moose, Sacred Cows, and false Diamonds in the Rough. Summarize in sub-groups, present, and discuss.1:30 Action Planning – Brainstorm Implementation of BIG IDEAS From the Vision side, the participants are challenged to take the BIG IDEAS and turn each into the Action Plans that enabled them to get to the Vision side.2:30 Break2:45 Action Planning Evaluation Criteria Participants are asked to identify the criteria to be used to evaluate the importance of the Action Plan ideas.3:00 Evaluate Criteria3:15 Evaluate Action Plans Using Criteria3:30 Detailed Action Planning For the top Action Plan ideas, participants are asked to identify who is responsible, who will participate, how each action will be accomplished, dependencies, timeframes, resources and how success will be identified. Sub-group review, present, and discuss.4:30 Next Steps & Session Evaluation5:00 AdjournCanyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 7
  • 9. Canyon Leaping Glossary of TermsAnonymityAnonymity is a powerful force for freeing the creative potential of individuals and teams.Use it wisely.  Anonymity provides safety.  Anonymity provides leveraged creativity -- separating ideas from the personalities.  Anonymity enables individuals to tell someone they really care about that their ideas are wrong.  Anonymity accelerates team formation and building of trust, thereby eliminating many of the reasons for needing anonymity.  Anonymity launches some of the most fruitful, enjoyable, engaging dialogues (talking) you will ever experience!Baggage DropYou can’t get across a canyon bringing along all the baggage, organizational residue, andDead Moose (the things everyone knows about but won’t discuss – stink worse thanElephants in the Living Room). Once the Vision has been painted, the teams are challengedto identify what they left on the other side.BIG IDEASYou don’t leap a canyon in small steps. The teams are challenged to identify the BIG IDEASthat got them over the canyon.Bias for Decision MakingDont assume a decision has been made. Make it, document it, and move on.Example – the leadership team decides that when they reach 70% agreement, this means100% will support the decision going forward, unless one of the 30% is the Subject MatterExpert (SMEs), which requires a return to building context and understanding the criteria.SMEs are identified BEFORE beginning.BFOs & BFBs  Blinding Flashes of the Obvious, or  Blinding Flashes of BrillianceWe dont care which they are, we are after both! It doesnt matter whether brilliance isnew or already understood by some. The key is, it must be understood and WIELDED by all- thats core to delivery of undiluted, integrated, and targeted positioningUtilizing "Canyon Leaping" tools, methods, and facilitation approaches, we strive to fullytap the latent creative potential of a leadership team by providing environments forindividual, small group, and large team creativity to just happen.Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 8
  • 10. Brain SurgesOccur either individually or in teams. When occurring in the "safe" environment created inthe sessions using the Virtual WINs facilitation tools, with anonymous and simultaneousinput, it resembles a group epiphany. A huge, creative force when unleashed in suchsettings.Breakthrough thinking is the result. And, its fun!Calm In The Face Of Uncertainty – Becoming Strategically OpportunisticLeveraged by the knowledge of a fully engaged leadership team, these characteristicsdefine those who are "Strategically Opportunistic": Confident Competent Disciplined Creative Decisive Engaged WiseMaking assumptions as part of teams, rather than as a collection of individuals, andtracking those assumptions.We know where we are going, we have access to the continuously improving "SharedForesight" and therefore can make immediate course changes to capture opportunities,overcome potential obstacles, thwart competitive inroads, and attain our Vision.Canyon LeapingWhere we exist today is distinct from where our Vision defines we will exist in the future.There is a virtual canyon between our present reality and our future Vision. Our objectiveis to plan how we arrived at the Vision Side of the Canyon.Canyon Leaping requires the participants to do the planning from the Vision Side.Canyon LeapersThese are the individuals who are charged with painting the Shared Vision of success foreach of the top stakeholders, then wielding this Vision, supported by their Shared Foresight– their Hindsight from the Vision Side - and their Shared Awareness to plan how theysucceeded.Canyon Leaping GuidesTeams are guided through the Canyon Leaping process by facilitators who employ a richlanguage to communicate with confidence.Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 9
  • 11. Delphi StudyIgnites individual creativity, and ferrets out the range of uncertainty, deficiencies inawareness, organization residue of continuous fire-fighting, and just plain old stupidity thatmay need to be addressed. Teams are made-up of individuals. Delphi Studies enableindividuals to contemplate on their own key issues and possibilities. These are thenconsolidated and reported back to the participants in building a shared context.Fallacy of SMEsWhen creating a new order of things, as in Canyon Leaping, subject matter experts, bydefinition, are limited if non-existent, or else you aren’t really creating a new order ofthings.GrokA word from Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein …. At one level, the CanyonLeaping process views Canyon Leapers as exactly that – strangers in a strange land. Theprocess enables the Canyon Leaping Team to fully understand, to Grok, the Vision Side andpaint a vivid picture of that Vision.As pointed out in the book Inevitable Surprises, by Robert Schwartz, when providingforesight to Citi, recognized that nearly all of the insights were already known andunderstood by one or more of those on the leadership team. However, none had the wholestory, and certainly the team didn’t have a shared view of any of the individual factors,much less the whole story. To become strategically opportunistic, a leadership team MUSTcontinuously improve and wield the whole story. Canyon Leaping is the first step. Grok?Leadership Dilemma – Transitioning from Dysfunctional to FunctionalThose who have learned to obtain, maintain, and wield power in dysfunctionalorganizations, whether businesses, firms, institutions, or agencies, have been essential indriving our economy, particularly in the past couple of decades. Now that we are finallyawakening to where weve allowed them to take us, it is time to transition to functionalorganizations.The dilemma is that those same leaders are not necessarily the best to lead the transition,much less to lead the transformed organizations. The dilemma is further exacerbated sincethe evaluators, lenders, risk assessors, and auditors of the strategies that were invested inare themselves suspect.With Virtual WINs, people can identify the depth and breadth of dysfunctional thinking thatpermeates and clogs todays organizations - and provide the safe environment to plan andimplement a transition to a functional organization with the minimum of disruption, cost,time, and risk to individuals and the businesses and organizations.Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 10
  • 12. Leadership Paradox"If you really mean you will truly use the results of the Teams to formulate the course ofaction for the company, well, that means Im working for a leadership team that doesntknow where it is going!"The paradox confronting all leaders today is simple. And, it must be confronted or thisprocess wont work. This process requires leaders to admit to their people and advisorsthat, while they may have already arrived at a clear Vision, they dont know the plan forgetting there. Many don’t really comprehend the meaning of this until midway through theprocess - and that is when the full power of "Shared Foresight" kicks in.Painting the VisionThe participants are asked to "Leap the Canyon" and contemplate what it will be like whenthe Vision is fulfilled from the perspective of: Society The Industry or Sector The Company or Organization Our Roles Ourselves Individually Customers or Clients Our Partners or Suppliers Our Competitors Other StakeholdersPower of Teams When Confronting Uncertainty  We must make more decisions, more frequently with greater accuracy.  We need information on which to base our decisions.  Perfect information doesnt exist or isnt available.  We still must make decisions.  Therefore, we must make assumptions.We are terrible at making assumptions!Tests of ability to make assumptions in areas of uncertainty continuously demonstrate alack of individual assumption making capacity. However, the teams themselves are able tosee that when they shared their perspectives, they find they can make assumptions with afar greater likelihood of having the correct answer within their range of answers.The problem is that the range of their assumptions needs to be narrowed by "BuildingShared Foresight", rather than focusing on individual pursuits of the "correct answer".Pushing Down WallsThe Teams are continuously asked to "push down the walls". What they find is that therewerent any "walls" when Canyon Leaping. Using the "24 hour" rule, Canyon Leapers areassured of a rapid response from the Knowledge Teams.Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 11
  • 13. Shared AwarenessDepth and Breadth of shared understanding throughout the entire leadership team of pastand present, and the power of the existing momentum. Shared Awareness is gained in theprocess through activities focused on building a Situational Analysis via a multi-iteration,Canyon Leaping Delphi Study and team SWOT assessment.Shared ForesightShared Foresight is the hindsight we wield from the Vision Side. It is the missing piece thatconnects a Shared Vision to this side of the Canyon.What we collectively foresee happening between the present and the Vision. This "SharedForesight" is continuously improved, shared and wielded to make the decisions as wecontinuously refine our course of action.What comes between now and attaining the Vision? Shared Foresight provides the ideas,assumptions, and insights of the full Leadership Team, continuously enhanced andimproved by access to outside thought leaders, critical experts and the breadth of theleadership community.Building and wielding Shared Foresight is how, from the Vision side, you can vividly seeyour successful strategies and tactics in the context in which they occurred. This is the key- it is from the Vision side that you can envision the complexities that indicate not just howyou get to the Vision side - but everything else that occurred as well.Societal ContextTo build scenarios that effectively communicate identified potential futures, we need to doso within an overall societal context - which itself can be depicted as multiple potentialfutures.Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 12
  • 14. Canyon Leaping Delphi Instrument DesignIntroductionPlease review and discuss the draft questionnaire for the first iteration of our Canyon LeapingDelphi Study. We are using the dual team approach for implementing our Canyon Leaping Process– a knowledge team and the full team. John Carroll is serving as our Lead Canyon Leaping Guide.Our Knowledge Team is charged with designing the process, using the “Canyon Leaping ProcessTeam Map” as the starting point, including this questionnaire. Additional responsibilities of theKnowledge Team include facilitating the collaboration, decision making, and group writingactivities, coaching the participants in collaboration across the continuums – from large group sametime conference calls, to any time activities, to individuals SMEs needing help on the discipline ofregularly posting a blog and other media of import to the team.Instructions for Delphi Study ParticipantsTo prepare for the upcoming Canyon Leaping creativity forums and strategy session, we areconducting a preliminary Delphi Study. The first step in this study involves collecting, analyzing,and reporting results of this initial questionnaire. The second step is for the participants to reviewthe results and respond to a second iteration questionnaire based on the results of the first. Asubsequent report will be issued in preparation for the creativity forums and strategy session.The primary purpose of this study is to ignite the individual creative capacity of our leadershipcommunity as we work to build our Shared Awareness, Shared Foresight, and Shared Vision. A by-product of the Delphi Study is to significantly accelerate the fulfillment of the Vision by clearing offthe table much of the anecdote swapping, choir preaching, and getting everyone up-to-speed thatoccurs in traditional strategy retreats.Ourselves – What have we done REALLY wellWhat was a marketing initiative that worked really well for us during the past 3 years? Identify theinitiative and describe the results and how they were achieved.What was an operational initiative that worked REALLY well for us during the past 3 years?Identify the initiative and describe the results and how they were achieved.Our ClientsPerception of Our Clients - please evaluate how our clients perceive us using a scale of 1 to 10 with“1” being “Low” and “10” being “High” Industry knowledge Flexibility Reliability Credibility Experience Quality of Service Trust CompetitivenessCanyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 13
  • 15.  Social Responsibility Agility Value DeliveredPlease comment on specific considerations that affected your responses to the prior question.Who are our best clients? Identify specific clients or categories of clients, then briefly explain whythey are amongst our best clients?Who are our worst clients? Identify specific clients or categories of clients, then briefly explain whythey are amongst our worst clients?Are there any major changes in how our clients and prospects are making decisions?PartnersWho are our best partners? Identify specific partners or categories of partners, then briefly explainwhy they are amongst our best partners?Who are our worst partners? Identify specific clients or categories of partners, then briefly explainwhy they are amongst our worst partners?Are there any major changes in how our partners or our potential partners are making decisions?About UsWhat is one thing about us you wish everyone understood?What is one thing we do today we should stop doing?Please provide an analogy or metaphor that describes us, either as we are now, or as you would likeus to be, or both. This can be utterly serious or knee-slapping funny (remember, it is yourcolleagues who will decide if it is funny, though it is anonymous…)About Our CompetitionHow would you characterize our competition as it exists today?How would you characterize our competition in 3 to 5 years, if different from the competition weconfront today?What characteristics best differentiate us from existing or potential competitors?Quick WinsWhat is an immediate and pressing marketing issue and your suggestion for overcoming the issue?What is an immediate and pressing operational issue and your suggestion for overcoming theissue?Insights on Major Waves of ChangeOur industry is considered by many to be transitioning from a product/service driving force to acustomer driving force.Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 14
  • 16. Technology is continuously expanding into new areas. How will new technologies best beleveraged? What should we do to minimize the possible negative impact new technologies mayhave on us and our customers?Increasing diversity, aging, educational attainment, globalization of markets for labor, capital,resources, and consumers, are leasing to massive changes. What should we be doing to betterprepare?What are up to three additional major waves of change, trends, or possible future situations weshould be considering? What should we be doing today to prepare?How would you like our clients to describe us once we are what you would like us to be.New Products, Services, or Markets To ServeWhat are up to three products or services we should considering adding – even those you don’tthink we would ever consider, or those we have rejected in the past?What are up to three emerging needs of our present and future clients that we will, or should, be inthe position to serve?Making DecisionsWhat are the criteria our leaders and managers should use when making strategic level decisions?What percentage of participants on a leadership team need to agree in order for everyone tosupport the decision?Who are our Subject Matter Experts?What We Should DoWhat are up to three major objectives we should focus on accomplishing during the next 6 months?What are up to three major objectives for us to accomplish beyond 6 months?If you had a magic wand and could change anything about us, what would you do?Parking LotAdditional Comments, Insights, Ideas, Questions, Blinding Flashes of Brilliance….Canyon Leaping, © John Carroll, 2013 Page 15