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Strategy - what's different going forwards?

The Status Quo

21st Century Orgs

Strategic direction is rigidly planned.
Strategic direction is potentially structured but predominantly emergent (i.e. emerges over time and from all over the organisation).
Strategic thinking the preserve of a small group of people at the top.
Strategic thinking is the collective consciousness and capacity of an entire organisation and its stakeholders.
Strategies are created through carefully managed “strategic planning” processes.
The very phrase “strategic planning” is seen as a self-contradictory term.
5-year plans are commonplace.
5-year plans are obsolete - the pace of change is held up as far too quick for 5-year cycles.
Strategic cycles are multi-year.
Strategic cycles are short-term - quarterly not uncommon.
Strategic cycles generally longer than the mindset, which is short-term Strategic cycles generally shorter than the mindset, which is long-term
Once decided, strategies are held tightly and held up as “correct”.
Once decided, strategies are held loosely because there’s an understanding that they’re probably flawed and will almost certainly need to evolve.
Strategy a highly analytical exercise based on historic data.
Strategy more based on the purpose and every person asking how that is best served at any given moment.
Quantitative information dominates the process.
Qualitative information an invaluable and significant part of the process.
About managing a tightly controlled plan.
About creating conditions for the constant pursuit of the purpose and a renewal of ideas.
Outsourced strategic thinking commonplace because of the result, not the learning during the research process, is what's of interest.
Outsourced strategic thinking is seen as a risk because doing the thinking and the research is the most valuable part of the process. Knowing the detail improves adaptability.
Employees engaged with the strategic plan after it's been decided through a series of workshops, communication tools.
Employees engaged with the strategic plan because they are involved in its creation and design.
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  1. John Featherby

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