Strategic Management


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  • Strategic Thinking is but one capability needed by leaders for the future. Integral leaders strive to achieve their fullest potential by paying attention to all four quadrants. Responsibility for Self values, thinking systems, life experience your purpose, your intent, your vision, your focus where you decide to put your energy Responsibility for Others Leading others – supporting them to grow and develop Responsibility for the Future Accepting your responsibility for future generations every decision we make today has an impact on the future, our micro decisions coalesces to create global futures what are we putting in the stream? Diversity of perspective Shared values Myths & Legends Responsibility for Wise Decision Making Using systems thinking to understand the big picture and long picture taking a futures perspective on our decisions today (using past, present and future to inform decision making) taking a holistic view of decisions based on long term, not short term imperatives UL personal commitment UR consistent with individual behaviour LL which will build supportive culture LR to create significant changes in larger systems.
  • The thinking that goes into the plan is the least understood and most ignored part of strategy development.
  • So why don’t we think this way? Why don’t organisations take a long term view. Strategic thinking needs a particular mindset and capacity to move beyond the linear – it needs open minds, and you have to be comfortable working with ambiguity.
  • Whereas strategic planning is about putting things together, implementation, monitoring and reporting. It requires a different mindset.
  • Or are you just assuming that the future will be more of the present?
  • How do we connect out there? What does it mean for our operations?
  • Our minds are habitual, pattern recognition machines.
  • Assumption Walls Ask why when you have a ‘that’s rubbish’ reaction to something. What would have to happen for you to accept this as real?
  • And we need to consider wildcards, the discontinuities that are low probability, high impact events that can change the world overnight. 9/11 was a wildcard.
  • The linear future is the one we assume to be true. We need to explore the widest range of possible futures before we make any assumptions about relevance.
  • The linear future is the one we assume to be true. We need to explore the widest range of possible futures before we make any assumptions about relevance.
  • The linear future is the one we assume to be true. We need to explore the widest range of possible futures before we make any assumptions about relevance.
  • Because there is always more than one type of future out there. Where we end up depends on the depth and breadth of our thinking today.
  • You can’t know the detail of the future, but there are enough signals and signs about today that, when you add in lessons from hindsight, will give you a powerful platform to begin building your preferred future or you or for your organisation. But, you need to be alert to these signals. You need to be seeing them before your conscious mind thinks about them. (c) Thinking Futures 2007
  • (c) Thinking Futures 2007
  • Living with the effects of a global world now – global financial crisis. An increasingly mobile workforce, coupled with skilled migration. Move towards ‘seamless’ education systems.
  • Government policy and views determining funding regimes – much energy goes into this.
  • Financial/funding arrangements continue to be subject to current government view and policy.
  • Students in the future may well not want to learn in classrooms, they may want to learn in their bedrooms, in their workplaces. Students will choose to learn when and where they want to. They will choose to learn how they want to. This is underpinned by the emerging trend around individualisation – it’s global, many loose relationships, a move from mass to micro markets and an increasing do-it-yourself approach. The ways generations y and z communicate and build knowledge IS different to the way baby boomers and even generation x do it. Y and Z are the students of the future, and their preferences – not ours - must be a driving force for strategy today. Higher average age due to ageing population Changed careers multiple times More diverse – geography, social and ethnic background – driven by increasing labour force participation by women, students with disabilities and indigenous backgrounds. Not quite there yet – current business models don’t seem to be working, and existing online projects and consortia seem to be failing or re-thinking and scaling back their operations.
  • The delivery of learning is constantly shifting. Mobile learning – laptops, mobile phones, PDAs Connected learning – via wireless networks Visual and Interactive learning – video conferencing, streaming, interactive whiteboards, Web 2.0 voting/ranking etc. Technology enabled classroom environments, online delivery where learning is virtual, and workplace based delivery. Clear that more technology enabled learning will be needed in the future.
  • SNACK CULTURE* represents the ‘UNFIXED' trend on steroids, catering to consumers’ insatiable craving for instant gratification. SNACK CULTURE thus embodies not only the phenomenon of products, services and experiences becoming more temporary and transient; it’s also about products literally being deconstructed in easier to digest, easier to afford bits, making it possible to collect even more experiences, as often as possible, in an even shorter timeframe. The signs are everywhere, from ubiquitous commerce to fragmented (shattered?) media to fast fashion. SNACK CULTURE is not a 'new new’ sub-trend, but definitely one that will continue to thrive. Learning will be continuous, through life. Learners will demand highly flexible and customisable learning that is available 24/7 to allow them to develop their own tailored portfolios of capabilities and to decide when and where to undertake their education. This pick and choose approach will also result in demands for recognition for their learning achievements – which is 10 years time will probably be moving away from the qualification framework that we have now. May want services to help them package and ‘sell’ their capabilities. Industry and institutions co-creating content and delivery models.
  • Singularity – technological creation of self-improving intelligence – long term pattern of accelerating change that will result in machines surpassing human intelligence and then improving own designs and augmenting their intelligence.
  • Business and networks are starting to merge, as the boundaries around business operations start to dissolve. The idea that organisations are living systems is emerging. The concept of a workplace is changing. There is increasing flexibility in working practices and the emergence of the concept of hyper-local working – anytime, anywhere – just like student learning. One trend that seems to be emerging is that of working in virtual worlds in the future. More people are postponing their retirement, or going back to work after retirement. Changing organisational leadership paradigms are emerging that focus around being aware - presencing and mindfulness - around intellectual rather than functional leadership. The industrial concepts of command and control, predictability, and micro-management are dead – but, looking around universities today, you wouldn’t know it. But, guess what – the skills most valued by employers in the future probably won’t change all that much – resilience, adaptability, collaboration and social networking skills. People skills. There will continue to be a war for talent, and casualisation of the workforce is likely to increase. Impact of ageing workforce and how to retain workers continues to be a focus for employers.
  • Increasing demand by consumers and employees for organisations to establish and demonstrate their ‘green’ credentials.
  • If we wait until the future is upon us, we risk creating reactive futures.
  • We need to be planning for possible alternative futures, not the expected future. The expected future is one of the futures you plan for, but it’s not the only one.
  • Swinburne University of Technology But, my sense of how we try to do planning now is that (and I am generalising here): we plan for a single future that is developed after we have done lots of data analysis and produced lots of trend analysis, we do that by extrapolating those data and trends into the future (that is, we use the past and present to create the future), we don’t often include staff views about their preferred organisational futures, And we don’t often identify and question our assumptions about the future – we maintain an official future that already exists. What might we be missing here?
  • But the future is complex, uncertain, unknown, there are no future facts.
  • We need to reframe the task at hand. The future of organisations – reactive The future will just happen to us We are bit players Or Focusing our organisations on the future – proactive We have a role to play in creating organisations of the future How do we get our organisations to be more future focused, futures ready? Mind you, not future proofed because that’s impossible.
  • To imagine the future, we have to recognise the blinders to our thinking.
  • You are probably stuck in your habitual mode of thinking. Thinking styles become automatic over the years, and because for the most part they work well for us, we have no incentive to change them. But when your thinking patterns limit your ability to approach problems creatively, it is time to challenge old habits.
  • The future is catching all of us. At least we can make sure that it catches us with our eyes and our minds wind open. (c) Thinking Futures 2007
  • It’s not a leader’s job to be busy.
  • 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
  • We have talked about the external quadrants today – but they don’t work unless you consider the internal quadrants. They are interdependent – if you ignore one, you will be less effective.
  • We have talked about the external quadrants today – but they don’t work unless you consider the internal quadrants. They are interdependent – if you ignore one, you will be less effective.
  • Remember the point of all of this is to avoid this happening to you
  • And instead to enjoy the future you are creating
  • Strategic Management

    1. 1. Strategic Thinking:what it is and how to do it
    2. 2. Capture your thoughts• As we work through the session, write down changes you can make in how you think and do when you return to work.
    3. 3. Integral Framework Interior Exterior LeadershipReflective Practice Individual CollectiveGood Ancestory Strategic Thinking Based on the work of Ken Wilber
    4. 4. Strategic Thinking Generating Options Options What might happen?Strategic Decision Making Making choices Decisions What will we do? Strategic Planning Taking Action Actions How will we do it?
    5. 5. Long termUncertainDivergentIncompleteBeyond linearDisrupting alignment
    6. 6. Short term LogicalConvergent Pragmatic Deductive Creating Alignment
    7. 7. Strategic Thinking• Strategic thinking is about developing strategy.• Strategy is about the future.ergo…• Strategic Thinking is thinking about the future.
    8. 8. Strategic Thinking• Integrating the future into your decision making processes today by thinking big, deep and long.
    9. 9. • Big – do we understand how we connect and interact with other organisations and the external environment?
    10. 10. • Deep – how deeply are we questioning our ways of operating?• Do we operate from our interpretation of the past, or our anticipation of the future?• Are our assumptions today valid into the future?
    11. 11. • Long – how far into the future are we looking? Do we understand the shape of alternative futures for our organisation?
    12. 12. • Strategic thinking is identifying, imagining and understanding possible and plausible future operating environments for your organisation…
    13. 13. …and using that knowledge to expand your thinking about your potential future options…
    14. 14. …about how to position your organisation effectively in the external environment,
    15. 15. …in order to make better informeddecisions about action to take today.
    16. 16. Thinking Big:Thinking in Systems
    17. 17. Thinking Big: Systems Thinking• Leaders need to learn to see the larger systems of which they are a part.• Shifts focus from optimising their piece of the puzzle to building shared understanding and larger vision. Peter Senge, The Necessary Revolution, 2008
    18. 18. Thinking Big: Systems Thinking• Forces your attention: – out to the external environment to understand the impact of change, – on connections and interdependencies, – on aligning internal capacity with reality of a constantly changing external environment, – on identifying strategy that will ensure viability of your organisations into the future, and – on the big picture.
    19. 19. Thinking Deep
    20. 20. Worldview• What might seem real to you probably won’t seem as real to the next person. – not right, not wrong, just is.• How you filter information (your lens) to create meaning is critical to understand.
    21. 21. Our assumptionsencase us in thepast.
    22. 22. Assumption 1: It’s impossible.
    23. 23. Assumption 2: I’m too busy.
    24. 24. Assumption 3: It’s irrelevant.
    25. 25. You will know when totest assumptions whenthe pain of continuingwith ‘business-as-usual’is greater than the fear ofchallenging yourself andothers.
    26. 26. Thinking Long:Environmental Scanning
    27. 27. In education…• Creating graduates for jobs that don’t exist, using technology that hasn’t been invented, to solve problems that haven’t happened.• Must understand the shape of this world to be able to lead towards it.
    28. 28. The External Environment Wil dca Globalisation rd Global Technology Wil Demographics & dca Wil generational change rd dca Industry Educational rd Gaming Learning Lifestyle OnlineEnvironment Organisation Organisation Sustainability Engagement Values Vocational Funding Wil Imperative dca Economy rd Politics
    29. 29. UNCERTAINTY High Usual Planning Timeframe (3-5 years) The linear future is the one we believe to be true, usually based on untested assumptions Trend Linear Future Low Today TIME Future
    30. 30. UNCERTAINTY High Usual Planning Timeframe (3-5 years) Possible Futures Trend Linear Future Low Today TIME Future
    31. 31. UNCERTAINTY And…don’t forget the wildcard… High Usual Planning Timeframe (3-5 years) Possible Futures Trend Linear Future Low Today TIME Future
    32. 32. TrendsWhatever takes you away The weird andfrom conventional thinking… unimaginable Emerging Issues
    33. 33. Scan: know earlier• Scan actively• Scan in strange places• Scan for diversity of perspectives (not right, not wrong, just is)• Look for connections, collisions and intersections. • RSS feeds • Meta scanning sites
    34. 34. Scan: know together• Collective wisdom is best when interpreting scanning results.• Need systems to record and share scanning ‘hits’.• Need regular gatherings at all levels to interpret and explore what it all means for your organisation.• Get your whole organisation thinking.
    35. 35. Putting it all together:What might be… and what can we do about it today?
    36. 36. There are no future facts
    37. 37. Types of Futures “Wildcard” Possible Scenario Plausible Probable PreferableToday Time Futures Cone developed by Clem Bezold
    38. 38. • What will be the shape of the future?• What will be important?• What will be peripheral?• What does it mean for us?
    39. 39. • The future might be unknowable, but you can understand a lot about what will influence the future.
    40. 40. The impact of global trends...
    41. 41. …and ofgovernmentpolicy
    42. 42. Competing fortalentSkilling, re-skilling,up-skillingFlexibilityRelationships
    43. 43. Increasingcompetition ormorecollaboration?
    44. 44. Global 2.0 is here…understanding and engaging with anarray of cultures…
    45. 45. Diversity of workforce and student population increasing
    46. 46. ...student choice and time, place and pace of learning
    47. 47. …how will we learn?
    48. 48. SNACK CULTUREDeconstructing products - smaller, faster, cheaper
    49. 49. Is the singularity real? Photo:
    50. 50. How will automationaffect our work?
    51. 51. The way we do business is changing.
    52. 52. …and we need to demonstrate our ‘green’ credentials
    53. 53. Implications• Students – how will they learn, what will their experience look like?• Staff – how will you work, what will a day look like for you?• The organisation – how will it have changed? How will it have stayed the same?• Learning – what will it mean (structure, delivery, assessment, recognition)?• Industry – what will it look like? How will people work? What skills might be needed?
    54. 54. Why do it this way?• Beyond the short-term• Beyond busy• “We want to be proactive…”• But, you can’t be proactive unless you have spent time thinking about how you might react to events that have not yet happened.
    55. 55. Reactive Futures
    56. 56. Proactive Futures
    57. 57. Reactive Futures – seek certainty
    58. 58. Proactive futures – embrace complexity
    59. 59. REACTIVE PROACTIVE FUTURES FUTURES• Let’s get someone • Let’s think about to tell us about the how to focus our future of… organisations on the future.
    60. 60. Reactive Futures Proactive FuturesWhat has happened? What is happening?What caused it to happen? What is driving the trends that will influence our future? What are our alternative futures?How do we respond? What ought we do today? What would be the long term consequences of our actions today?What will we do? What will we do? After the event Anticipating the event
    61. 61. Recognise the blinders• Mental filters (patterned responses)• Overconfidence (far too certain)• Penchant for confirming rather than disconfirming evidence• Dislike for ambiguity (want certainty)• Group think (Abilene effect) PJH Schoemaker and GS Day Driving through the Fog, Long Range Planning 37 (2003): 127-142
    62. 62. It’s about changing the way you think…• Moving beyond pattern response and habitual thinking that no longer works well when uncertainty is dominant.• Re-training our brains to make new connections (ie be creative).• Moving our brains from automatic pilot to manual steering.
    63. 63. We cant solveproblems byusing the samekind of thinkingwe used whenwe createdthem.
    64. 64. • What assumptions that underpin how you think about your work now will need to change?
    65. 65. A Challenge: Beyond Busy
    66. 66. • The pressures of his job drive the manager to be superficial in his actions - to overload himself with work, encourage interruption, respond quickly to every stimulus, seek the tangible and avoid the abstract, makes decisions in small increments, and do everything abruptly. Henry Mintzberg The Manager’s Job: Folklore or Fact, HBR, 1975
    67. 67. • “Managers who get caught in the trap of overwhelming demands become prisoners of routine. They do not have time to notice opportunities. Their habituated work prevents them from taking the first necessary step toward harnessing willpower: developing the capacity to dream an idea into existence and transforming it into a concrete existence.” Heike Bruch & Sumantra Ghoshal, A Bias for Action: How Effective Managers Harness Their Willpower, Achieve Results, and Stop Wasting Time, HBSP, 2004
    68. 68. The Result?Our organisationswill tend to bepurposelesswastelands,populated by theperpetually busyand the inherentlyunhappy. Stephen Johnson, What do you do for a living?, 2007
    69. 69. • I’m too busy dealing with today to think about the future…actually means…• I can only think short term, not long term. I don’t have time to think strategically.
    70. 70. If you succumb to the busyness syndrome, this ishow you approach the future.
    71. 71. • A futures thinking approach may mitigate against falling into the trap of being caught reacting to the day to day, where the urgent drives out the important, where the futures goes unexplored and the capacity to act, rather than the capacity to think and imagine, becomes the sole measure for leadership. Brent DaviesLeading the Strategically Focused School: Success and Sustainability (2006)
    72. 72. To think strategically, you have to move beyond busy.
    73. 73. Characteristics of Strategic Thinkers
    74. 74. Open mind…
    75. 75. Systems thinker…
    76. 76. Accept diversity…
    77. 77. Think outside the box…
    78. 78. Think outrageously at times…
    79. 79. Curious… Explore, learn, reflect
    80. 80. Optimistic about creating the future…
    81. 81. Challenge assumptions…
    82. 82. Aware of own worldview…
    83. 83. Are compassionate…
    84. 84. …and generous
    85. 85. …and, seek and foster collective wisdom
    86. 86. Your turn…• Focus: critical issue/decision today• Scan: two trends likely to affect your decision into the future (think uncertainty not predictability)• Interpret: think about how these trends might play out over the next 10 years• Imagine: how your organisation look like in 10 years – image/metaphor/book or movie title• Decision: – implications/options for your decision today. What will be the same, what might you do differently?
    87. 87. Back to Work
    88. 88. • Strategic thinking is thinking about the future.• As leaders in organisations, your responsibility is to influence others to understand the imperative of the future.
    89. 89. The imperative of the future• That a sustainable way of life for us as individuals, for our organisations, our societies and our planet is possible only if we integrate the future into our decision making today.
    90. 90. The imperative of the futureWe focus on immediate needs and problems and aretrapped by this illusion that what is most tangible ismost real. Weve been conditioned for thousands ofyears to identify with our family, our tribe, and ourlocal social structures. A future that asks us toovercome this condition and identify with all ofhumankind looks alien indeed...weve never beforelived in a world in which ones actions, through globalbusiness, can have their primary consequence of theother side of the world. Peter Senge Creating Desired Futures in a Global Community, SOL, 2003
    91. 91. And, just howdo I do this inreal life?
    92. 92. It’s a challenge!
    93. 93. The gap between reactive and proactive futures is bridged by making time for strategic thinking..
    94. 94. Individual StrategicForesight Foresight Individuals recognise and build their foresight capacityunconscious conscious Individuals begin to talk about and use futures approaches in their workimplicit explicit Collective individual capacities generate organisational capacity (structures & processes)solitary collective
    95. 95. YOU Interior Exterior Reflective Practice LeadershipCommit to building time to Make a change in your routinedo this daily – stop doing when you go back to work. something else if you Individual have to Collective Good Ancestory Strategic ThinkingRecognise the impact of Whenever you have to makedecisions today for future a decision, ask: “Am I generations thinking, big, deep and long?” Based on the work of Ken Wilber
    96. 96. YOUR Interior Exterior ORGANISATION Leadership Reflective Practice Build a scanning system toEncourage and support inform decision making – andan outward looking staff pay attention to it Individual Collective Good Ancestory Strategic ThinkingCreate a futures focused Have thinking workshops asdecision making culture well as planning workshops Based on the work of Ken Wilber
    97. 97. How do you know when?• Strategy framework defined by tomorrow’s strategic issues rather than today’s operations.• Strategic thinking capabilities are widespread in the organisation (not just senior executives).• Process for negotiating trade-offs is in place.• Performance review system focuses managers on key strategic issues• Reward system and values promote and support the exercise of strategic thinking. Adapted from Thinking Strategically, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2000
    98. 98. • Strategic • Futures focused Thinking decision making = integrating the = “am I thinking future into your big, deep and decision making long?” today.
    99. 99. • The aim is to understand - as best we can - the long term context of our decisions today, so that we make those decisions as wise and as robust as is possible.
    100. 100. Your turn… (as guide for discussion)• Focus: critical issue/decision today• Scan: two trends likely to affect your decision into the future (think uncertainty not predictability)• Interpret: think about how these trends might play out over the next 10 years• Imagine: how your organisation look like in 10 years – image/metaphor/book or movie title• Decision: – implications/options for your decision today. What will be the same, what might you do differently?
    101. 101. Prior to Strategic PlanningBefore starting a strategic planning process, it is important to ask, “What do we want to accomplish through strategic planning?” The reasons for planning will have a major impact on how to go about the planning, who to involve, and whether a strategic plan is what you need.1. What do we want to achieve from a planning process? What will success look like at the completion of our planning process?2. What are the issues facing our department/college? What questions need to be answered during the planning process?3. Are there any products or processes that are non-negotiable (not up for discussion)?
    102. 102. Maree Conway Thinking Futures Photos from and