Creative Strategic Training

Creative Strategic Thinking: Using Consensys™ to Create the Future

The Process

Creative Strategic Thinking was designed for groups that are interested in re-thinking their future. Based on a "Backwards from Perfect" planning process, it is a powerful process for getting groups to see beyond traditional self-imposed limitations.

Future pull (Idea Generation): Creative Strategic Thinking begins with a Vision of what success will look and feel like.  A group creates its Vision, Purpose, Economic and Service Missions.  Working backwards from this idea, the group develops strategies, which are broad descriptions of what they did to achieve this success.

Opportunity Discovery (Idea Evaluation): Using the group decision-making software along with voting keypads, the group evaluates the relative importance and current performance of their strategies in ways that are not possible with other planning methods.

The Results

Figure 1 - Click to EnlargeThe result is an opportunity profile which shows the key areas of opportunity where further innovative effort would be most beneficial (see Figure 1).  The opportunity profile is a key tool for allocating organizational resources to implement the strategic plan.

  • The Opportunity Profile pinpoints:
    • Immediate Opportunities: high leverage changes with high pay-off
    • Mid-term and Long-term Opportunities: potential strategies for the future
    • Givens and foundational strategies: critical and supporting strategies to hold constant
    • Over-kills: high performance areas with low pay-off
    • Problems: maintenance strategies in trouble
    • High-Risk Problems: vital problems to solve immediately
  • There is immediate feedback to the group.  As soon as voting is completed, the group can review its consolidated results.
  • Once the initial results are reviewed, the group can move to consensus discussions.  The goal of these discussions is to gain clarity about various issues and elicit important information prior to making final decisions.  These discussions reveal three different kinds of disagreement:
    • Words that have different meanings for different people
    • Information that is unevenly shared
    • True disagreement

The Advantages

1. Idea Generation

  • Connects strategic planning to the Vision, Purpose and Missions of the organization
  • The focus is "backwards from potential" instead of "overcoming problems"
  • Builds belief something can be created that never existed before
  • The process ensures more innovation and creativity
  • A values review can be included, ensuring connections between corporate values and strategies

2. Idea Evaluation

  • More in-depth evaluation of strategies
  • Immediate feedback
  • Disciplined discussion of strategies
  • Open and honest discussions which lead to true consensus
  • Full and equal participation by all group members
  • Eliminates facilitator bias
  • Allows privacy so sensitive issues can surface
  • Clarifies and compares differences of opinion or perceptions held by various demographic groups

3. Meeting Management

  • Immediate documentation
  • The common peer experience builds strong ownership
  • Meetings are orderly and efficient
  • The technology lends an aura of "importance" to the meeting

4. New Learning

  • Provides new knowledge and understanding about the change process
  • Develops dynamic, creative and cooperative ways of working together