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Strategic Management


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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