I2A Strategic Thinking System

3,782 views

Published on

I2A = Insights to Action, a Strategic Thinking System - brought to you by the Business Learning Institute & Sounding Board Inc.. I2A is a strategic planning (thinking) system that increases alignment, empowerment and allows organizations to deal with the rapidly changing environment.

Published in: Business, Technology
0 Comments
14 Likes
Statistics
Notes

Comments are closed

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
3,782
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
46
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
14
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • The i2a Process and all materials contained herein are protected by copyright, 2009 Business Learning Institute & Sounding Board Inc.
  • The i2a Process and all materials contained herein are protected by copyright, 2009 Business Learning Institute & Sounding Board Inc.
  • I2A Strategic Thinking System

    1. LC “To keep pace in your industry, let alone excel as a leader, requires your rate of learning to be greater than, or equal to, the rate of change.” -Unknown We think this means a few things:  Skills based training isn’t enough, extraordinary leaders must be able to rapidly shift perspectives and change their own mindset.  Strategic planning isn’t enough, extraordinary leaders must be strategically thinking, all of the time.  Charisma and creativity aren’t enough; extraordinary leaders need to be ambidextrous thinkers – able to think conceptually and sequentially, in the abstract and in the concrete, and able to move quickly between the two.  Extraordinary leaders cannot do it alone; they must be adept at building and sustaining large social networks of people engaged in the work.
    2. So What? To change what people are thinking about, and more importantly, how they are thinking about today and tomorrow we have to change the tools we are using to do the work; we have to create “smart” processes that support organizational change. Meet BLI’s newest “smart” tool: The Insights to Action™ Strategic Thinking System  A system designed to support organizational leaders interested in accelerating their rate of learning and their organization’s ability to adapt to rapid change. A BLI Smart Process™ that:  Focuses on rigor and quality of thought.  Draws on both verbal and visual facilitation techniques.  Teaches skills beyond the subject matter.  Results in tangible, engaging communication tools.  Is scalable.  Can be facilitated internally or externally.
    3. Strategic Thinking Map (Process Map) Why The meta map of the Insights to Action™ Strategic Thinking System provides an architecture (or framework) to structure your thinking and conversation as you engage. When you are talking about complex issues you don’t completely understand, or debating solutions where there are multiple points of view, it is easy to get lost in the conversation and prematurely locked into a solution. The architecture tool serves both participants and facilitators as it provides an orientation tool to remind participants where they are in the process, and a facilitation tool to assist in maintaining a disciplined process and provide a “big” picture. Participants are much more willing to “trust the process” when they can see a map of where they are going and why that step in the process will help to get them there. Results A map that provides direction and destination when outcomes are not known. A touch point for facilitators. Size Large format (4’x6’), Flipchart, tabloid or letter depending on size and sophistication of working group.
    4. Our History Why – Historically speaking people are good at recalling events and/or stories of great hardship and triumph. These are powerful stories, however, they are episodes in our history that are often shared without additional context of what else was going on at the same time. Only by creating a shared picture of our history, with multiple points of view and experiences, can we get an accurate picture of where we came from and what strengths we drew on to continue growing. This historical perspective yields important information for the future. Results  New members of the organization to understand, in a more meaningful way, how the company/firm came to be  Created a shared group memory regarding the history of the company  Create a visual celebration of significant events, people and places  Enhance the ability of your employees to tell the story of your company  Allow your employees to think through, and articulate, what has made them successful and what has gotten in the way  Provide the context that will highlight important insights as to what the organization wants to be sure it holds on to during times of rapid change, and what it wants to be sure to let go of as it moves into its next evolution.
    5. Insights to Our History Why – all of the Insight tools provide rigor to the process of strategic thinking. We are exceptionally good at collecting data, and technology has only enhanced that capability, however, we often make the mistake of rushing to solutions (Create) before we understand how the data translates to information, i.e., what does what we’ve learned mean? Of everything that I’ve learned what matters right now? The result of skipping the Insight step is action plans that often solve the wrong problem or fall flat within the organization because the focus of the efforts are misplaced. Encourage your participants to think about what they already knew coming into the session, combine it with what they’ve just learned, look for connection points between seemingly disparate data points, and find insights that are beyond the obvious. Insights = What I knew coming into the room + What I learned while I was here + Fresh Perspective Results The Insights to History tool asks you to carefully mine your history to be able clearly articulate what has contributed to your success and what has gotten in your way; to identify, collectively, what your “take withs” and your “leave behinds” are and to begin the conversation on how you want to move forward. Size Extended Flipchart (3’ x 5’)
    6. Learnings to Date Why – the Learnings to Date tool is important to use when the work that you are discussing has already been underway, or you are beginning subsequent cycles of planning. Learnings to Date focuses the group conversation on what has been learned in 4 critical areas in the recent past specific to a project, initiative or strategic efforts. Results A shared understanding of:  What you have accomplished (“wins” that you want to be sure to celebrate)  What you are most proud of (shared agreement on what is “wheat” and what is “chaff”)  What kinds of policies, practices and/or structures got in the way of your success  What you want to do differently moving forward Size Large format (4’x6’)
    7. Environmental Scan: Knowing Where You Are Why – As the rate of change in our external environments speeds up, so then does the requirement on us to innovate at a faster pace. This opportunity brings two distinct challenges: How will we ensure that what we create isn’t obsolete by the time we are ready launch? How will we ensure that the timing is right we are ready to launch, i.e., that we aren’t so far out ahead of the curve that our customers/clients don’t understand the value we have to offer? The value of the Environmental Scan tool comes from your ability to think broadly and deeply about forces of change likely to impact your organization and to explore questions like: What are the forces at play? What do we believe to be a trend (likely to impact our business) and a fad (likely to fade away over time without significant impact)? What forces may combine and provide new opportunities or challenges for our business (cloud computing, cellular technologies, medical advances, changes in confidentiality expectations, etc.)? Results A highly creative and intuitive look at the larger context your organization is operating within and the potential context of the future. At this point in the Insights to Action™ Strategic Thinking System you have had thoughtful, provocative conversations about your organization historically, in current day, and in potential future scenarios. Size Large format (4’x6’)
    8. Insights to Environmental Scan and Learnings to Date Why – all of the Insight tools provide rigor to the process of strategic thinking. We are exceptionally good at collecting data, and technology has only enhanced that capability, however, we often make the mistake of rushing to solutions (Create) before we understand how the data translates to information, i.e., what does what we’ve learned mean? Of everything that I’ve learned what matters right now? Encourage your participants to think about what they already knew coming into the session, combine it with what they’ve just learned, look for connection points between seemingly disparate data points, and find insights that are beyond the obvious. Insights = What I knew coming into the room + What I learned while I was here + Fresh Perspective Results  Analysis of what has been created by the group as it relates to the larger context the organization is operating within (Environmental Scan) and the recent past (Learning to Date). Simpler put, of everything that we’ve talked about, what matters moving forward? Encourage exploration of questions like:  As we look at the future from a variety of perspectives, what unique possibilities do we see?  What do we recognize as transitional circumstances (temporary) versus substantive environmental change that impacts the way we do business (permanent)? How best do we plan for each?  As an organization where are we putting our pride? How are we celebrating our successes? Are we pursuing, and making visible, short term wins to the rest of the organization?  How are we learning from our mistakes, and more importantly how are we mining our successes for those principles that can be applied in future circumstances? Size Flipchart
    9. Taking Inventory: SCOT Why - the tried and true “SWOT” analysis pictured in a way to inspire appreciative inquiry (strength-based inquiry) and constructive conversation. The SCOT tool supports the identification of strengths and challenges inherent to your company’s character, and opportunities and threats provided by the external environment. This type of analysis provides important information about the context of today. Each quadrant will yield important information about your company, and more importantly, how you are thinking about your company and competitive environment. Results  A shared understanding of the strengths your organization can draw on as it takes on new opportunities  An identification of the challenges inherent in the current organization that will get in the way of your success  A shared sense of enthusiasm and cautious optimism for the opportunities and threats that the external environment provides for your company Size Large format (4’x6’)
    10. Insights to Taking Inventory: SCOT Why – all of the Insight tools provide rigor to the process of strategic thinking. We are exceptionally good at collecting data, and technology has only enhanced that capability, however, we often make the mistake of rushing to solutions (Create) before we understand how the data translates to information, i.e., what does what we’ve learned mean? Of everything that I’ve learned what matters right now? Encourage your participants to think about what they already knew coming into the session, combine it with what they’ve just learned, look for connection points between seemingly disparate data points, and find insights that are beyond the obvious. Insights = What I knew coming into the room + What I learned while I was here + Fresh Perspective Results  Identification of your high leverage opportunities. Traditional SWOT analyses stop at the collection of data points. Your finish point is a list of the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But what does that really tell us about what to do next? The insights to Taking Inventory allows you to have the rest of the conversation, which answers the questions:  Which of our opportunities do we want to structure ourselves to be prepared to take advantage of (high leverage opportunities)?  How will we transform our challenges into opportunities for action vs. events that will require a reaction?  Which of our strengths will we need to be relying on to take full advantage of the high leverage opportunities?  Of the challenges within our organization, what needs our attention, right now?  What are the implications to resource allocation, policy and practice considerations and organizational structure? Size: Flipchart
    11. My Bold Vision Why – the most successful organizational change efforts recognize the importance of an emotional connection between those leading the change vision and those doing the every-day-work that allows that vision to come to fruition. This means that change visions must be collectively built and that the priorities of the change vision must originate in the hearts and minds of those doing the work. Results Your participants have had an opportunity to think through, and express, what is important to them as it relates to the future of their organization. A direct connect between “the work I do every day” and the “future of my organization.” Size Tabloid
    12. Making it Real Why – The reality of today is that less is more. Why is that so? Because if we focus our attention on what really matters then what we are looking at, and working on, is far more relevant to us than when we are focused on a broad spectrum of opportunities trying to minimize our risk. The Making it Real step of the process asks your organization use all of the information and insights they have created thus far and: Define the organization’s future state in terms of what you want to achieve (visible from the outside) and how you plan to do that (strengths you will build and/or leverage), and Agree on 5 bold steps towards that future, i.e., what are the few things we want to do really well? Results  From insights to actions this tool is where you will decide what you are going to go do.  What are the elements of our Change Vision?  Does our change vision incorporate all of the insights we’ve identified along the way?  How will we hope to achieve our goals?  What will be bold indicators to our organization of progress and faith in the future? Size - Large format (4’x6’)
    13. Three-Year Approach & Setting Priorities Why Once you’ve completed the Making it Real tool and described your Change Vision and your 5 Bold Steps you are ready to begin action planning; this is the nitty-gritty of tactics. However, before you dive into the detail of getting the work done (*) use one of these frameworks to get consensus on priorities using either time or impact on the business as criteria for guiding decision-making. *In traditional strategic planning processes this is another point of risk in the integrity of the process; working groups are fatigued at this point and eager to get to action planning so this step is often skipped or it is done in lieu of the Action Planning step. The organization will benefit in the long-term by doing both of these with due diligence and a collaborative approach. Results Share agreement on the priorities of the organization moving forward which provide guidance to workflow planning, resource allocation and budgeting processes. Size Large format (4’x6’)
    14. Action Plan Why – An exceptional vision is doomed to remain on paper without the means to get there, use Action Plan tool to think through, and map out, the who, what, where and when of your next steps. Results  Create a true sense of urgency (let’s get moving)  Enlist the support and engaged efforts of the “right” people  Show the way forward from status quo  Create a powerful communication tool for those accountable for leading the work Size Flipchart
    15. Insights to Action: Telling the Story Why - the success of your plans will depend on the ability of your planners to carry the message from the planning session to the organization in a succinct, powerful and hopeful way. Strategic thinking requires participants to move back and forth in time, and progressively shift perspectives to find new opportunities. At the close of a strategic thinking process, when you’ve arrived at some conclusions, it will be imperative that participants have a collective opportunity to come out of the detail and look at what they’ve created from a macro perspective. This is often referred to as the 50,000-foot perspective. Results This tool creates the shorthand notes to the session and allows participants to practice the “elevator speech” so that the work of the group can be told with one unified voice. *Additional Communication Tools – each of the large format templates becomes a communication tool of its own as soon as it is created. Consider digitizing your output and using the digital versions as a storyboard of your process and your plans. Your team is now empowered and energized to inspire your team. Size Tabloid
    16. INSPIRE Research indicates that the most successful change efforts are dependent on an emotional connection between the person leading the effort and the people doing the work. This means: Extraordinary leaders cannot do it alone; they must be adept at building and sustaining large social networks of people engaged in the work. The Insights to Actions™ strategic thinking system is designed to encourage leaders to think differently, to make that thinking visible, and to learn how to communicate their thoughts and ideas in a way that can easily be grasped by others. Got opinions? Check. Got data points? Check. Got insights? Check. Got an action plan? Check. Got a future? Check.
    17. For more information on the Insights to Action™ Strategic Thinking System please contact one of the co-creators: Tom Hood, CPA.CITP Gretchen Pisano CEO CEO Business Learning Institute Sounding Board Ink, LLC http://www.bizlearning.net/strategicplanning http://www.soundingboardink.com (800) 888-481-3500 (toll free) (301) 624-5726 tom@bizlearning.net gretchenpisano@mac.com The Insights to Action™ Strategic Thinking System includes:  A series of large format visual guides  On-site Facilitation by certified Insights to Action™ moderators  Train-the-trainer sessions  Facilitators Guide

    ×