New 1/2 day in-house program

 

 

_______________________
 

 

 

Comprehensive 2 day program runs next:

 

 

Sydney

October 22/23, 2018

 

 

Melbourne  

November 26/27, 2018

 

 

_______________

 

 

 

 It's not 'drawing'...

It's 
VISUAL

SENSEMAKING

with Lynne Cazaly
using The Visual Mojo Method
 
1 day practical workshop for your team
Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations
  

MELBOURNE public workshop

November 19

or... contact Lynne to arrange a workshop at your workplace 

 
____________________

 


 

 

 

 

Get the free Mini-Book on Sensemaking

This form does not yet contain any fields.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Join with me to receive & read my enews tips, templates and advice
    Read the latest
    and
    Subscribe to my newsletter  

    'Each week I delete plenty of enews and emails; this ain't one of 'em!' - Martin, Project Consultant
    'There is always something helpful, interesting, impactful in your enews Lynne. Love your work!' - Tim - Project Manager/PMO

    'Love it! A quick read with brilliant information, advice, support and ideas I can apply right away. Thank you.' - Jane, Team Leader

    Contact Lynne Cazaly

    e: info@lynnecazaly.com

    m: +61 0419 560 677

    PO Box 414, Albert Park   VIC   3206 AUSTRALIA

     

     

    Entries in collaboration (42)

    Saturday
    Jul282018

    Ways of working in those collaborative spaces

     New ways of working are sweeping the world - leaders across organisations are slashing organisation charts and structures, installing fresh new collaborative spaces and hoping like heck they can get more people to be more involved, more connected and more engaged in more purposeful, creative, ingenious and agile work.  
     
    Workplaces and work practices of today -- and the future need to be: 

    • Productive
    • Creative
    • Effective
    • Collaborative
.

    It’s easy to let one or more of these to drop or to not get any airtime at all until it’s all 'go push go' and it’s just about productivity.  
     
    There’s a lot going on then with new spaces and new ways of working… but it’s not all shiny and new for us all. Many of us have to make do with old spaces that haven’t changed in decades in buildings that will be occupied for another few centuries. 
     
    Let’s look at these old and new things and see where the advantages are whether you’re a team, project, individual or enterprise. 
     
    New Spaces
    Visiting a company's brand new offices recently, it was refreshing and exciting to see them start again in fresh premises; a clean slate, a chance for a new start. 
     
    They had just peeled the plastic off breakout areas to think in, cafe-diner-style booths to brainstorm in, quiet desks to work quietly at, lounges for relaxed and chilled conversations and meetings, fresh smelling meeting rooms with natural light, natural timbers, big whiteboards and writeable walls, plants, other creeping greenery and hipster-style café lighting of course. 
     
    Designated meeting rooms had cool creative names like ‘Einstein’, ‘Jobs’, 'Da Vinci' and ‘Musk' (because what, no women were ever creative!!?)  Aah clearly they were trying to drive an innovative and disruptive culture and they must have read these innovative ways to innovate your innovation! ðŸ˜‰ 
     
    Even Google moved into new space in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia and wouldn’t you like to work there.

    But imagine if you moved into new spaces and didn’t do anything to change how you were working, meeting, communicating, collaborating and creating? That is, you were in new spaces but continuing to use old ways. Oh what a waste! Leverage it, people!

    Oh I feel a visual coming on....this is what I'm seeing: 


     
    It can be inspiring to try out some new things in a new environment, but often there is little to no support to help the team adopt new, creative behaviours in their meetings, conversations and collaborative gatherings.
     
    People won’t automatically switch things up to new, more collaborative ways of working just because they have a different workplace or environment. It can help… but they need to be resourced, upskilled or supported with practical know-how.  
     
     
    Old Ways 
    Old habits do indeed run deep. As Julia Roberts says in 'Pretty Woman’, ‘it’s just geography’.  Moving your existing activities and old ways of working into a new location or workspace is geography. There is no real change going on there. It might look pretty ... but it’s such a waste when you’re still working in old silos, hitting ‘reply all’ on your emails, hiding all your information and data in your devices and not on the walls, and still sitting down for your meetings
     
    All teams and organisations can benefit from learning some new ways of working that create more collaborative interactions, are more engaging for the team, generate greater input from everyone across the business and deliver better value to customers and clients.
     
     
    Old Spaces
    Ok so not all businesses can afford funky new furniture, Danish influences of hygge or de-cluttering drives so the space is clean, tidy and Marie Kondo perfect. We know that a messy desk is the sign of a highly creative mind!
     
    Plenty of meeting rooms end up as storage spaces for extra chairs, broken furniture or boxes of stationery and event supplies. Damn marketing!!
     
    We can’t all be working in the perfect workplace or workspace; like this team who accept their workplace is a dump.
     
    Even entrepreneurs in start up spaces in shared offices and cool warehouses have space issues. 
     
    Some organisations are tied up in leases and locations, in relationships and arrangements that mean there’s no making anything pretty; it’s just like not being able to move picture hooks around in a rental apartment! Damn landlord!! 
     
    But all is not lost. Even if you’re not in a fresh and clean space, you can still shift things up in the way you work. 
     
    New ways of working
    New ways of working are sweeping through many organisations as they try to get closer to their customers, create cross-functional teams of diverse thought and capability, deliver value sooner and work in smaller batches; a little agile-ish in their approach
     
    Teams are working on shorter sprints of work
 in cross-functional teams, trying out experiments rather than big changes  â€¨and conducting tests of curiosity rather than compliance. Meetings are using visual facilitation rather than a boring rule-clinging chairperson; rapid prototypes and mockups now are replacing ‘finished-but-no-one-wants-it’ products later. There is music, cool chilled out café sounds and time to work... not just meet to talk about it. 
     
     
    Some privacy please 
    The results of research by Ethan S. Bernstein and Stephen Turban are filtering through to mainstream media broadcasters, morning talk shows and consumer magazines. It’s not a secret anymore. Those who’ve worked in open plan spaces knew it all along and now everyone else does too: we’re not fans of open space. We communicate less, collaborate less and can’t quite make the meeting rooms work for us either.  
     
    While the strategy may have saved companies buckets of money on office space it hasn't saved us from ourselves. 

     
    What we need...
    We need a variety of spaces at work: to be allowed to be noisy, quiet, alone, together… and everything in between. 

     
    To engage and collaborate in a large group.
    To retreat to a quiet space to recharge. 
    To think in isolation.
    Or to chat with no agenda with a couple of people in a casual environment. 

    But to be forced into one box or another… nope. 

    We need to be able to move through each of these types of spaces -- as the work and our mood requires. 
     
     
    What else could you do about where you are? Try moving seats. 
    We will be more communicative, collaborative and creative if we are packed up and moved somewhere else in the organisation. This might be frustrating and feel disruptive but it’s this very shake up that sets the creative thinking going. Plus it helps make for more happy and unplanned collisions of ideas, thought and diversity. 

    Otherwise we end up in an echo chamber of familiar and comfortable people, hearing the same thinking,  complaints and conversations.
     
    Rather than being all bossy and moving people where they don’t want to go, why not be like Valve, the gaming company, which has put wheels on its workstations so that employees can move wherever their interests and projects take them. Weeeeeeeee! “I’m going over THERE to hangout with THOSE cool people for awhile!”
     


    ‘The idea is to encourage people from different worlds to mix and match ideas so that you come up with the best from both… That boosts both individual and collective performance.’
    - Sunkee Lee, professor at Carnegie Mellon University

     
     
    There are spaces everywhere… when you look
    If we don’t like our open spaces, or our existing space, then this is all the more reason to be able to use any space, any space at all in the organization – and surrounding community - effectively to have that exchange, conversation, brainstorm, dialogue or meeting. 
     
    Whether it is a table and chair in the foyer downstairs, the cafe on the ground floor, or it's a space in the kitchen or near the water cooler or hot water tap or the recycle bins… or it’s the café up the street, the book shop across the road, or a walk to the 7-Eleven 15 minutes away. 
     
    I saw a wonderful space in a workplace recently that was the ‘Pet Wall’. People brought in photos of their pets – scaled up to A4 size (the photos not the pets) and they were plastered all over a wall in a kitchen area where there were just a few seats. If you can’t have real, live workplace dogs then maybe having pictures of them will be just as productive, calming and comfortable as the real thing. It was an area that always seemed abuzz with people and conversations!
     
    Whether it is in the elevator or those seconds before the elevator doors close (rom-com movie-style) or walking up a set of stairs or walking in or out of the building. These are all spaces and we need to be able to engage, listen, communicate and exchange ideas and information.
     
     
    The Wrap
    Old Ways in Old Spaces

    Every day you continue using old ways of working in your old/existing spaces, you’re falling behind culturally, economically and commercially. It's wake up time; time to look and learn. 
     
    Old Ways in New Spaces
    All that design, furniture, accessorising and inconvenience during a move or renovation is wasted unless you do something. Quick. Putting whiteboards on walls doesn’t make people magically feel comfortable or more confident in using them. Just as putting a new oven in my kitchen doesn’t make me a better cook - I have evidence. You’ve got to back up the feature or the change or the environment with some skill and know-how on how to make the most of it. It's time to leverage; it's time to press restart and resource people. 
     
    New Ways in Old Spaces
    This is where it’s happening. Teams who are willing to try new things (and have leaders who invite the experiments) despite their environment remaining the same, are the bomb. They’re risk taking, agile-ish experimenters. Hooray for them! Have a go... explore and experiment. There is opportunity everywhere. 
     
    New Ways in New Spaces
    This is the ultimate in having an advantage in business. A fresh start or a chance at a new Day #1. Cultural change is possible as you clean the slate and introduce new ways of working in shiny new spaces… because it feels like a whole new world. Back it up with the skills and resources and you're all onto a winner. 
     
    There’s more reading below if you wish….


    So this is the new world of work.
    At times it is spontaneous and it's happening in spaces that are less structured than they used to be ... or we might like them to be. 
     
    We have to be able to flex our style to what’s available. 

    Saturday
    Jan132018

    Retrospective: Look back with some structure and process

    The end of a project, calendar year or quarter and there can be lots to wrap up, finish up and look back at. 

    For some of us, things just keep on keeping on. The calendar or end of project may be irrelevant; perhaps there's not even a whiff of time to slow down to review anything. 

    When you do have a moment to pause, reflect, gather some thoughts or input or review in readiness for what's ahead, here's a little something for you. It's for you or for your team, unit, project, organisation...

     

    A Template for a Retrospective

    Retrospective. It's a word that comes from Latin roots meaning 'I look back at.'

    So get together and start looking back. That is, have a conversation or meeting to talk about what went well and what didn't go so well and how you can make the best of all of that. You don't need to dwell on it all for hours and hours; in fact this tool helps you take what happened and shift it forward for change. 

    Rather than a dull meeting based on vague questions or a meeting where loud mouths reign and interrupt quieter members of the team... here's a tool for you to lead the conversation with. 

     

    A Visual Focus

    The power of visuals in meetings, conversations and communication are undeniable. They help people hear each other, they help us focus, they help us stay on track because we can actually see the work to be done.

    Use this template to not only lead the meeting or conversation, but to capture some of the content that's contributed by the team.

    I've put together some instructions if you need 'em in a PDF here or a little video here

     

    Alone or together

    Whether you do it alone, in a team (or a family, yeah that's a great idea), with the project team or across units and divisions, spend just a little valuable time looking back and reviewing with a more formalised structure and process.

    A retrospective view helps give people the opportunity to contribute, to participate and voice their thoughts. Plus it gives you a rich trove of insights and sensemaking from which to do more or to make some changes and adapt for what's up next. 

    Wednesday
    Feb082017

    A story will help you make sense

    When the world feels all upside down and its challenging to understand what's happening or why, it's often in hindsight that we're able to see what went on.

    This is sense making at work. It's how we connect the dots and draw some conclusions from what was uncertain or complex.

    With Sensemaking rated as a vital capability for the future of work as work keeps getting re-worked, we've got to look at human, helpful and effective ways to make sense - that don't involve drowning in fathoms of data.

    In making sense, stories are critically important. Not so much the telling of stories, rather the hearing, the distilling and the getting to the essence. That's the sense part.

    Even micro narratives, tiny little slivers of a story are worth grabbing and capturing. It could be a phrase, a statement, a couple of words, a slang term or a quote.

    When people drop these little micro-gems into the conversation, look out, grab them and capture them. Reflect them. These will help you make sense.

    It’s a little like how panning for gold might give you hundreds or thousands of little pieces of golden glitter, but no big nuggets. Yet it’s the mounting up of those little shimmers that can give you the right to say you’ve ‘struck gold’.

    So don’t discount the little pieces of glitter, the little slivers of a story, the tiny segments or phrases or grabs. Together they can make some wonderful sense.

    In sensemaking and making sense, you’ve got to tune in those listening skills to hear the slivers of stories; to listen to what people are saying and sharing with you… to capture those.

    Don’t just wait for facts and data. Engage in the anecdotes, the stories, the tales and the telling.

    In my earlier career, my first career, I worked in public relations. Oooh, don't throw tomatoes or boo and hiss. It was good PR. It was community relations. I worked in public health, education, government, training, media, sport. It was about helping people understand what was going on and how they could either get involved … or run the other way!

    Whatever the topic, project, program of work or PR piece I was working on, we always had to craft key messages. When you watch someone present to the media, and if they've been media trained, they'll be delivering their content in sound bites and key chunks - those repeatable, printable, quotable quotes that the media like to broadcast. It's a short chunk of sweet loveliness on the topic. (Oh and at the bad end of the scale are those nothingness quotes that politicians like to sprout. Not those.)

    The same can apply in communication, leadership and workplaces the world over. You need some sound bites and digestible chunks for your listeners and viewers to take in and understand - for your employees, teams and tribes to grab hold of.

    Gather together the little slices, pieces, chunks and cues. Together they can give you incredible sense and help show what people are thinking, wondering, learning, sensing and making.

    Collect the stories you hear - even the tiny little ones - capture them, visualize them, share them and reflect on them… put them together, for they will help you – and the people you’re working with - make sense.

    Tuesday
    Jan312017

    A clever tool to help you problem solve

    While plenty of tasks, projects and initiatives are about minimising problems, fixing things and reducing issues, there's a time when it helps to make a problem bigger.

    A favourite 'think outside the box' book I enjoy flinging open at random places is John Kuprenas' (with Matthew Frederick) book 101 things I learned in Engineering School.

    It's a chunky hardcover edition and you really know you're holding it despite its A5-ish size.

    Inside are pages and pages of intriguing explanations of concepts applicable to life ... beyond engineering.

    I'm no engineer, yet I have a curiosity for how things work, why things are the way they are and what we can do about that.

    There's something about how engineers, designers and architects think -- and problem solve -- that can be helpful to us, no matter the setting, situation or challenge we face. 

    One of John's 101 things is to 'enlarge the problem space'. He says

    "Almost every problem is larger than it initially appears. 
    Explore and enlarge it at the outset - not to make more work, but because the scope of the problem almost certainly will creep - it will grow larger - on its own. 
    It's easier to reduce the problem space later in the process than to enlarge it after starting down a path toward an inadequate solution".

    It's one of the reasons I give groups and teams this creative and innovation thinking tool to make problems bigger.

    I slot this activity into workshops when teams are working on strategy, design thinking, customer journeys and other tricky problems.

    I called it: 'It's Bigger'.

    It's some cloud shapes or circles up on a whiteboard or I'll get them (yes, executives and senior leaders too) to sketch in a notebook, blank page or in an app on their tablet. Then let them talk.

    Here's how it works:

    1. First, write the Issue
    2. Then add in some points, thoughts, hunches about what the bigger problem is,
    3. ... then the b-i-g-g-e-r problem 
    4. .. and then the BIGGER problem.

    From there you can come up with some totally new solutions.

    You could apply this type of thinking to problems you see around you at work, in your community, in your life ... even complex and wicked problems that are seriously tough to solve like social issues and global challenges can be discussed and strategised using the 'It's Bigger' approach.

    John Kuprenas says:

    there is the problem, then the cause of the problem, then the cause of the cause of the problem and the cause of the cause of the cause... 

    ...you get it! 

    It's a process that let's you look at creativity, innovation and problem solving by making it bigger before you get your hands dirty by doing something about it. 

    I'll use this thinking and creativity tool with a large retailer this week as we workshop some of their new ideas and initiatives to challenging problems. Then it will get a run in a not-for-profit workshop as a team looks at how to fund their social enterprise ideas.

    See, you don't need to build bridges or roads or machines to be an engineer!

    Saturday
    Jan212017

    The 12 Sins of Strategy

    If you read any of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books when you were growing up (or they're in the family library) you might have read of the adventures of five young people who faced challenges, learned lessons and built strong friendships.

    The recent release of a series of spoof books on the Famous Five sees some new titles tailored just for grown-ups. The books might well be poking fun at some of the realities of life with titles like:

    ·     5 Go Parenting

    ·     5 Give up the Booze

    ·     5 Go Gluten Free

    ·     5 on Brexit Island…

    but it’s the one titled ‘5 go on a strategy away day’ that’s calling out many of the clichés and sins of bad strategic planning.

    After all, it’s the offsite and team session that is aimed at creating a refreshed organisational strategy: and it’s often the place where a new direction is set or the team presses ‘reset’ to chart a course for a new world.

    As the Harvard Business Review Blog Network presented recently:

    "Strategy formulation.. is an ongoing requirement of good management… This is a process you must permanently embed in your organization."

    When it comes time to bring the team together to revisit the positioning, profitability and progress of the business, what will you do?

    If you look at rebooking the same venue, using the same agenda as last year and find that the most challenging part of the strategic process is finding a common date when all the players can get in a room at once, your approach to strategy may be ticking off some of The 12 Sins of Strategy.

    Beware these sins and take steps pronto to move away from the sins and move towards the good and better of strategy.

     

     

    Before the session

    1. Same Same

    Here’s the sin: It’s all the same as last year – same dates, people, venue, agenda, menu and program. This isn’t to mention what gets discussed and decided -- if that’s the same, that’s a sure sin.

    If your ‘save as’ button is getting a workout, you’re a sinner! The world is VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. And our approach to strategy will need to change to adapt and respond to this environment.

     “Longevity is decreasing .. corporate mortality rates are rising .. the good news is the newer firms are more nimble. The bad news for (older firms) is that their days are numbered, unless they continually innovate.”

    From ‘Strategy: The scary truth about corporate survival’ -- Harvard Business Review, December 2016

     

    2. Too Safe

    This second sin could possibly read ‘dangerously safe’. The cousin to doing the same as last time – or the last decade – is playing too small or too safe.

    We are in an ongoing era of disruption and if we’re too safe (or too same) we’ll be trampled on by those who are more adequately responding to change.

    Every business is impacted by the effects of market shifts and changes. And if you haven’t ‘felt’ any of them yet, perhaps this will be the year. That maxim of ‘change or die’ is never truer.

    Have you gathered insights, information, background and the data needed to inform your strategic discussions and decisions? If you don’t know what’s going on, you may respond in a way that doesn’t set you up for the industry changes and shifts underway.

    Working with a pharmaceutical-style business recently, they discussed at their strategy day their need to adapt and change and to do so in ways they haven’t previously. The way customers were buying products and services had changed, and the type of products and services had changed too. Plus there were some new players in the market. Their long-lived era of being ‘the only’ or ‘the best’ was under threat. So their strategy session and strategic response was not just about taking out more advertising or to better train the staff who are customer facing.

    Both of these responses – training and advertising - are small tweaks and are more operational than strategic. It’s too small and too safe of a change.

     

    3. Vague Process

    If you can tick off that ‘yes’ you’re willing to look at things differently and be prepared to take some bigger steps, it’s now about HOW are you going to create that strategic response.

    This sin is what I’d call ‘vaguing the process’. That is, the process you’re planning to use on the day to create and craft your strategic response is vague. It’s ambiguous and not yet defined. You might know what you want to get at the end of the session, but you’re not crystal clear on HOW you’ll get that work done.

    By the way, the process isn’t the agenda.

    The process is the way you’re going to go about doing the strategic work, the strategic thinking in the lead up to, during and after your strategy session.

    If you were heading off on the holiday of a lifetime you wouldn’t just show up at the airport with your passport and credit card -- as fun as that may be. For the big projects and strategy work, you need some type of itinerary and how you’re going to move from one place or space… to another.

    Don't wing it or make it up as you go along.

     

    4. D.I.Y Facilitation 

    A flow on from #3 Vaguing the Process is if you are trying to facilitate the strategy session yourself: doing it yourself or D.I.Y.

    Thinking you can plan, observe, facilitate and participate all at once -- or even with a team of colleagues, trying to share the load -- is a hefty responsibility. How can you do it all?

    Save your facilitation skills for the day-to-day implementation and leadership work with your team - not the big ticket item of the strategy day.

    There can be a desire to ‘involve the team’ or ‘share the load’ or even ‘give people greater responsibility’ by having them lead sessions or facilitate at strategy days, but I believe there are other more cohesive ways to do this during the session, rather than them facilitating.

    The DIY approach reminds me of an eccentric friend who decided he’d represent himself in court over a family legal matter. He didn’t want to pay the legal fees. He thought there wasn’t much to it and he could do it himself. 

    The end result saw him dabbling in an area of deep expertise that was beyond his scope of understanding – and appreciation – and the cost in the long run was way beyond financial.

    Some DIY projects end up as a dangerous mess.

     

    During the session

     

    5. All talk

    This sin already occurs daily in many workplace meetings and workshops where teams of people sit around a table and … talk.

    It’s somewhat of a workplace default: people sitting there talking. And talking. And talking some more.

    Bringing a team or group together is an invitation of diversity. Sitting around talking for two days doesn’t serve this opportunity for diversity. We have differing preferences for how we take in information, process that information, make decisions, communicate, engage and think.

    Howard Gardiner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences documents how we have a number of different ‘modalities’ rather than a single general ability. He suggests that we have multiple ways of learning. So even if your preference is to sit and talk… it’s not diverse enough, nor is it identifying and responding to what else might work for others across the business.

     

    6. PowerPoint Snooze

    For many leaders, the days before a strategic session see them spending countless hours preparing a PowerPoint pack or presentation of information.

    Rather than the big investment of tweaking and tinkering with the layout on a document, have a conversation. Have dialogue with the team.

    We are losing our social intelligence and reinforcing that at a strategy or team day by delivering more one-way presentations is a drag and a sin.

    Attention spans are already short; no wonder some sessions feel like they are dragging on when people stand up to present dense packs of 132 slides (Yes, this happened at a team session).

     

    7. Little Input

    It’s a sin indeed to keep things narrow or involving the ‘usual suspects’ at a strategy session. It might feel more comfortable but you won’t get the best out of the event, the team or get the best possible strategic response.

    The field of Design and User Experience is focused on creating and launching things that meet users needs. Customer and user insights, feedback and suggestions are pivotal, vital, in creating a successful product.

    It’s also why focus groups and testing sessions, prototyping and scenarios are used -- to get a range of people to comment on and experience things connected to your company and brand.

     

    The other half of inputs … is outputs.

    Also, beware the ‘tapper’. The tapper is the designated person sitting in the corner of the room at a strategy session, tapping on a laptop and documenting the outcomes or key points of the session.

    Err, it’s a little dated and ineffective, your honour. It looks more like a crime scene or the trial with a court reporter capturing testimony! There are more collaborative and transparent ways to represent the progress being made.

    Big sin. Guilty!

     

    8. Idea Slumps

    A low point in a workshop is often feared, or expected perhaps – think of the after lunch or afternoon energy slump when we’re all a bit drowsy from eating too many sandwiches at lunch!

    This is a period of quiet, lower energy and sometimes we can fear that it’s not a good thing. But throughout the program of crafting a strategy there can be other slumps, speed humps or slow points.

    A slump or silence can sometimes occur just when we want to start brainstorming or ideating or coming up with brilliant innovative ideas.

    We need to avoid the, ‘Yay, come on team, let’s come up with new ideas for products!’ or ‘Hey there everyone, who’s got a brilliant idea?’

    We can’t expect genius to automatically flow just because we bring a group of people together in a room and tell them to be innovative. I believe you need to set up the environment for ideas to be born -- throughout the session.

     

    After the session

     

    9. Hangover

    This sin is less about an alcohol hangover and more about a mood hangover! Once the energy of the offsite or strategy session is over, what happens next?

    Yes, there can be a real coming-down or a flat spell after a significant strategic and transformative event. You’d have felt it after a holiday on your return to work – some of us feel it after the weekend!

    While it’s great to get the team together, to get away from the office and clear the path of the usual workplace interruptions, there needs to be some time and space allocated to help you with ‘re-entry’ back into the workplace.

    How are you going to land this thing?

    And a word on real hangovers: decide if it’s a party event or a strategy event and if it’s a bit of both, make it clear what the organisation’s policies are regarding hitting the booze and showing up the next day hammered. Not a good look.

     

    10. Cascade Down

    By ‘cascading’ information, the idea is that you take what was discussed or decided at the strategy day and then package it up to send over the cliff, down down down to the murky depths below to the minions who will put the strategy into action.

    The fact there is a word for this – to cascade – to deliver information down to your team says structure, hierarchy and downward flowing things. Often it’s about telling your next level, then they tell the next and they tell the next and before long, you have the whispers game you played as a child except now it’s being played out by grown-ups. Information is misinterpreted, not delivered at all or edited to take out the difficult-to-explain bits.

    People what to know what happened at the strategy session. Make that communication swift, clear, authentic and in more directions than just down.

     

    11. Few Actions

    Too many events, conferences, workshops and talk, none or few actions are agreed on ...and so nothing much changes. are focused on the event itself, and not the outcomes and strategic implementation that will follow. As a result of lots of offsites

    An organisation’s leaders who go on a strategy day and then don’t do anything with what they worked on is simply poor form.

    “If they can’t follow through on this, what else won’t they follow through on?”

    These were the words from a senior team member after a strategy day’s actions hit a roadblock and … just stopped.

    The excuse and blame game is just a step away as people shirk responsibility and dodge accountability.

    Most meetings, discussions, workshops are judged on what their outcomes are, on what they achieve and on what they produce. So too with the strategy day.

     

    12. Too Vanilla

    At some point you’ll want to, and need to share the strategy across the wider organisation.

    Further to the sin on ‘cascade down’, now it’s about the actual communication. Whether it’s a ‘strategy on a page’ distillation, a typical PowerPoint deck or something more creative, make sure it looks like it belongs to your organisation.

    Too many comms efforts are bland, lacking life and icon-ed to death. It’s as if the creativity has been stripped out and the end result could apply to any company at all - or any pre-school at all. There’s nothing that differentiates the company or shows its human side or brings the strategy to life.

    Where’s the story, the visual, the creative elements that will cut through and connect with people emotionally?

     

    So there you go, 12 sins of strategy. Get the full ebook on these 12 sins, by completing your details here and let’s stop the strategy sinning!