This seminar introduced and practiced a variety of structured approaches to assist leaders to think about the future deliberately.
Considering that you can’t realize what you cannot imagine, you need new ideas to fuel your future. These ideas can of course come from anywhere. A great place to start is your own head, full of experiences on a wide variety of issues and relationships
Ah, but to ask someone to come up with these new ideas, to imagine, or think strategically, just how does someone do that ? Considering that you can’t will yourself a new idea, you need productive ways to engage your thinking processes to generate the new ideas you’re hunting for.
Said another way, while one request to leaders might be to “think strategically”, it is quite another to request that a leader complete the work necessary to build a strategic plan organizing strategies and tasks for the next three years, or to build four alternative future plans via scenario planning.
This seminar is a wonderful example of learning that demonstrates value of using provocative thinking “tools”, like recent blog titles Strategic Planning (June, 2014 blog) and Scenario Planning (July, 2014 blog) along with additional systems thinking tools to provide the structure and framework to both generate and organize ideas discovered during a leader’s studies. The tools provoke and record new ideas.
The trick here is to appreciate the “tools” are really great questions. Questions, that answered by a leader and/or a leaders’ team, develop the learning necessary to build a clearer picture of the coming alternative futures. Tools help leaders like blue prints help architects and home builders.
Doing the hard work of developing your responses to the tools/questions can develop both your imagination and your intuition. The work creates “stories” that later contribute to your options when considering how to solve problems or develop new alternatives.
How might you and your team benefit from learning to think this way?
1. Video Interview John Canfield
2. Video comparing Strategic Planning and Scenario Planning
3. Seminars: Good Thinking Series
4. Book: Plan – Ideation Skills for Improvement and Innovation Tomorrow; includes both Strategic Planning and Scenario Planning
5. Web link: Visual Literacy Website. Find “periodic table” of tools, let the site settle on your computer, and move your mouse over the “elements” to learn about additional helpful tools.