Our unique approach to adaptive leadership capacity building has been successfully applied in both the private and public sector – across a broad range of activities. Below is a a list of the diverse range of where the skills we help you, your organization, or community develop have been successfully applied:

Are you in the midst of – or about to begin – any of the above activities?

If so, contact us to find out how our unique capacity building approach can increase the likelihood you’ll achieve the results you need.

 

 


Scenario Planning

Scenario planning was first popularized by Royal Dutch Shell in the 1970s and described in several books (The Living Company by Arie deGeus and The Art of the Long View by Peter Schwartz). Scenario planning is used by organizations (private and public sectors) to identify multiple potential futures and develop / explore strategies for most successfully navigating them.

Example: A Multinational Corporation

Goal

An organization competing in a complex international market needs to effectively respond to potential, unprecedented global crises.


Strategic Forum

The Strategic Forum, first developed by Barry Richmond is a facilitated strategy building event for leadership–from an organization, community, or coalition–to walk through a series of structured exercises and group dialogue. A design team develops the Forum through a process of interviews, research, and data analysis. Participants at the Forum develop a shared picture of strategic objectives (vision), current systemic challenges and opportunities (current reality), and a plan for achieving the vision. With this solid picture, Forum participants can best determine the viability of those objectives, revise or reprioritize them as necessary, and determine the most effective steps forward.

Example: Dialysis Services

Goal

An internationally known healthcare delivery system had disagreement among delivery staff (doctors and nurses) and administration about the best strategy for improving dialysis patient outcomes.


Develop a Collective Vision

Organizations, communities, and coalitions use collective vision to motivate stakeholders to cooperate / collaborate in developing a desired future. Most change efforts start by gathering a diverse group of stakeholders to develop this collective vision, usually written as a vision statement.
According to Wikipedia “a vision statement is a company’s [or group’s] road map, indicating what the company [group] wants to become and guiding transformational initiatives by setting a defined direction for the company’s [group’s] growth.

Example: Climate Justice

Goal

Local government and community leaders from a large metropolitan region wanted to explore the potential for implementing green infrastructure to mitigate impacts of climate change – and simultaneously improve equity throughout the region.


Test & Guide Implementation

Flawless Execution is a popular leadership book. Often it’s in the implementation of strategy where problems arise, and even the most ardent supporters of a plan tend to abandon a new strategy and go back to previous ways.

Example: Technology Firm

Goal

A Fortune 100 tech firm (giant) believes it needs to move into the mass market in order to stave off competition from smaller, more customer friendly software.


Change Management

Facilitating culture change is commonly discussed and challenging to accomplish. An essential aspect of successful culture change is having those involved understand why their way of operating – determined by their mental models – needs to shift to the “new way”. After holding them for so long (years…decades), we will alter our mental models slowly, if at all. An effective change management process includes (rapid) exploration of how our mental models need to shift…and why.

Example: ESOP Corporation

The Need

The executive responsive for Training and Development at a company transitioning to a employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) approach wanted workers to fully understand how to operate in the future to maximize company operations and customer satisfaction…and how that would impact individual compensation.


Process Improvement

Process Improvement* is the proactive task of identifying, analyzing and improving upon existing business processes within an organization for optimization and to meet new quotas or standards of quality. It often involves a systematic approach which follows a specific methodology but there are different approaches to be considered. Some examples are benchmarking or lean manufacturing, each of which focuses on different areas of improvement and uses different methods to achieve the best results. Processes can either be modified or complemented with sub-processes or even eliminated for the ultimate goal of improvement.
*definition from appian.com

Example: Processing Promotional Offers

The Need

The marketing department at a financial services company developed a promotional offer to their existing customer base. They wanted to know if this promo would impact they processes and if they might need to modify them.


Operationalize / Clarify Assumptions

Businesses need to have a financially-based business plan to make sure they stay on the path of success and viability. Lean startups rely on the business canvas – groups of assumptions that address aspects of the business (e.g. Key Partners, Key Resources, and Customer Relationships). The canvas is a working hypothesis, continually refined and updated, of the best assumptions about those aspects of the business. Out of the canvas comes a business plan that includes what segments to target, what investments to make (where and when), when to make transitions, etc…

Example: Large Retailer

The Need

The CQO (Chief Quality Officer) of a larger retailer (storefront and shipping) believed that they could increase market share by improving their order fulfillment quality. Although it made sense as a story, many on the leadership team thought other factors (e.g. breadth of catalogue) would have a greater impact.


Develop a Business Plan

Businesses need to have a financially-based business plan to make sure they stay on the path of success and viability. Lean startups rely on the business canvas – groups of assumptions that address aspects of the business (e.g. Key Partners, Key Resources, and Customer Relationships). The canvas is a working hypothesis, continually refined and updated, of the best assumptions about those aspects of the business. Out of the canvas comes a business plan that includes what segments to target, what investments to make (where and when), when to make transitions, etc…

Example: Entrepreneurial Venture

The Need

A startup technology business was seeking VC funding to take its product from concept to market. They had used lean start up principles and developed a business canvas, but wanted to build confidence their initial assumptions were solid.


Add Rigor to “Soft” Theories

John Sterman, author of Business Dynamics, often asks his MBA students at MIT “Do ‘soft’ variables like morale, trust, and motivation contribute to an employee’s productivity?” When students say yes, he’ll point out that analysts often build models without those variables included because they can’t be measured. And he asks, “If we have two models, one that includes morale, even if imperfectly and a similar one that differs only because morale is excluded…and we are confident morale influences productivity…which model do we know is wrong?” System dynamics provides a framework for quantifying even something as “squishy” as morale.

Example: Service Organization

The Need

A service organization’s IT department wants to improve customer satisfaction. The mental models of many in leadership hold that bad interactions with the IT system reduce customer retention and wish to explore how this may be…and how to improve both.