Strategy | The Brainzooming Group - Part 4 – page 4
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Suppose your organization is not going in the right direction. You and others on your senior management team are beginning to see that strategic reality. Still, you avoid the difficult conversation where you have to start reimagining the organization as something dramatically different.

How, if you are facing this situation, can you initiate a conversation with strategic thinking questions safe enough to raise the issue?

5 Strategic Thinking Questions to Start Reimagining the Organization

Rather than starting by pushing your management team all the way out to a wildly reimagined future, start with where you are now. Using today as a starting point, reimagine specific strategic aspects, one at a time, to initiate the conversation. Here are five “today” areas to reimagine in a future state:

Since each of these questions begins with a grounding in today, it can be an easier transition to start reimagining the future. At the same time, do not completely neglect stretch the senior management team into more blatantly disruptive thinking. You need to do both as part of reimagining who you are as an organization.

If you are a senior executive and are looking for ideas to facilitate this conversation among your peers, contact us. We can suggest more ways to dial in these strategic thinking questions for your organization’s specific opportunities and challenges. – Mike Brown

Need Fresh Insights to Drive Your Strategy?

Download our FREE eBook: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis

swot-alternatives-cover

“Strategic Thinking Exercises: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” features eleven ideas for adapting, stretching, and reinvigorating how you see your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Whether you are just starting your strategy or think you are well down the path, you can use this eBook to:

  • Engage your team
  • Stimulate fresh thinking
  • Make sure your strategy is addressing typically overlooked opportunities and threats

Written simply and directly with a focus on enlivening one of the most familiar strategic planning exercises, “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” will be a go-to resource for stronger strategic insights!

Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Ways to Reimagine Your SWOT Analysis

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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It’s Valentine’s Day. What better time for a retrospective on love in, if not all, at least a few of its varied forms. We hope you love it!

Creative Love

Creative Thinking – 6 Challenges Before Loving Your New Idea Too Much

Maybe you shouldn’t love your idea at first sight. Give it some time to grow into it.

Managing Clients Who Love Their Creative Ideas

People can love their own thinking too much. Here are ways to handle that when the people are your clients.

Strategic Relationships – 9 Principles for Being a Great Client

Here’s the flip of the previous link, covering the things the create a “client crush,” as one of the Brainzooming team members puts it!

Real Love

6 Personal Relationship Lessons from My Parents’ Marriage

Love has to be front and center to last 60+ years in a marriage. Here are just six lessons from a long-lasting marriage.

Life Lessons – 12 Free Holiday Gifts

Telling someone you love them doesn’t cost a thing. And neither do any of these other ideas to show someone you care about them in a non-material way.

Work Love

What do you LOVE about your business?

Don’t get so bogged down in the daily grind of your business that you miss the love that should be there.

Making Decision Making Easier – She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

Do you love this idea or not? Here’s one way to decide.

Career Challenges – 6 Ideas when Losing the Love for What You Do

When the love goes away in your job, don’t sit idly by and accept it.

Personal Love

9 Reasons to Love an Underdog

I unabashedly love underdogs, even if some people think I don’t understand what a true underdog is!

Life Lessons – 30 Things My Dad Taught Me

Looking back with love at some of the things my father taught me about business, life, and what’s really important.

Questioning Love

What We Love Is Failing Us – Thoughts on Shooting and Violence

Exploring why what our country seems to love is harming our nation.

Mike Brown

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ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help  generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Contact us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Download Your Free




Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Your organization has a vision statement. Congratulations!

Is your organization’s vision sitting around and not helping run the business?

If that’s the case, your task is to start turning the vision statement into strategy to drive and align activities consistent with it.

5 Ideas for Turning a Vision Statement into Strategy

Here are five ideas The Brainzooming Group uses to help clients when turning a vision statement into strategy.

1. Decompose the vision into strategic dimensions

Strategic dimensions are areas where an organization has the opportunity to make major decisions or where industry players are creating competitive advantage. Examples include:

  • Business models
  • Market areas served
  • Product line breadth
  • Organizational structure
  • Competitor focus

After identifying a handful of strategic dimensions, create a list of possible options the organization could choose on each one. Management team members rate where the organization is now, and where it should be at a future date. From these answers, we create a description of the future that is more specific and goes deeper than the vision statement to provide strategic direction.

2. Define the vision statement’s words and phrases

To create greater specificity, highlight important words and phrases in your vision statement. Afterward, create specific descriptions for what each one means. The key is describing them in understandable words so employees can better grasp and act on them. If the descriptions are full of confusing jargon, this approach does not work effectively.

3. Prioritize strategies moving toward the vision

Incorporate the output of the first two approaches into prioritizing potential strategies. If proposed initiatives receive support based on how well they move toward the vision, you wind up with more vision-oriented strategies. In the future, the organization will move toward developing potential initiatives that work harder to move toward the vision.

4. Use the vision for generating innovative ideas

Return to the better-defined version of the vision statement (number 2) as a point of departure for coming with up with innovative ideas. The specific elements in the vision statement are ideal for providing the structure you need to generate strategically-smart, innovative ideas that lead the organization forward with greater alignment to the vision statement.

5. Depict the vision statement

Words are one thing. Pictures and video are quite another for communicating what a vision means for an organization. Create scenarios for what your organization will look like when you attain the vision. Visualize those scenarios and depict them so everyone in the organization has a common source from which to imagine the future strategically.

Want to explore these ideas in more detail?

We cannot share client-specific examples here on the blog. We can, however, provide ideas more customized to your situation in a brief call. Contact us here (or at info@brainzooming.com or 816-509-5320). Let’s set a time to see what the possibilities are for turning vision into strategy at your organization. – Mike Brown

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Create the Vision to Align and Engage Your Team!

Big strategy statements shaping your organization needn’t be complicated. They should use simple, understandable, and straightforward language to invite and excite your team to be part of the vision.

Our free “Big Strategy Statements” eBook lays out an approach to collaboratively develop smart, strategic directions that improve results!


Download Your FREE eBook! Big Strategy Statements - 3 Steps to Collaborative Strategy



Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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We routinely ask those of you downloading Brainzooming strategy and innovation eBooks to share – if you are willing – the opportunities and challenges you are facing at the time.

I went back through recent responses from among readers who are on the blog most frequently. Here are their comments on opportunities and challenges, along with links to Brainzooming posts addressing the strategy and innovation situations they face:

People and Organizational Issues

“Buy in from staff on the new vision and the required change”

“Internal politics”

“Stickler to the old ways of doing things (and) not willing to get out of the comfort zone”

“Resistors and toxic manipulators”

“The matrixed nature of our vast organization”

Strategic Planning Process

“Helping train my team to be strategic thinkers and not just executors”

“Simplifying (strategy) process and engaging people to implement”

“Strategic planning in the past did not work, looking for other approaches”

“Infusing fun, creativity, and innovation into the planning process”

Innovation

“Out-of-the-box thinking to create disruption in the industry”

“Being innovative at a low cost”

Implementation

“Managing ideas and seeing them through to implementation”

Do you have questions on strategy and innovation that are vexing you?

Contact us, and let us know what they are!  – Mike Brown

5 Ways to Start Implementing Faster and Better!

In the new Brainzooming strategy eBook 321 GO!, we share common situations standing in the way of successfully implementing your most important strategies. You will learn effective, proven ways to move your implementation plan forward with greater speed and success. You’ll learn ways to help your team:

  • Move forward even amid uncertainty
  • Take on leadership and responsibility for decisions
  • Efficiently move from information gathering to action
  • Focusing on important activities leading to results

Today is the day to download your copy of 321 GO!

Download Your FREE eBook! 321 GO! 5 Ways to Implement Faster and Better!



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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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I needed a new way to express myself last night. That’s why instead of typing out nine strategic thinking questions from various business conversations (and contemplations) so far this week, I decided to Sharpie marker and share them with you in this image. (Thanks Diane Bleck for inspiring a different approach to expressing my thoughts!)

It’s still early. Are you looking a little behind, a lot ahead, and sufficiently minding what’s going on right now to exceed your expectations for this year?

Do you know . . .

These are strategic thinking questions our clients are asking. We’re also asking them ourselves – while there’s still time to influence this year’s results!  – Mike Brown

Download our FREE eBook:
The 600 Most Powerful Strategic Planning Questions

Engage employees and customers with powerful questions to uncover great breakthrough ideas and innovative strategies that deliver results! This Brainzooming strategy eBook features links to 600 proven questions for:

  • Developing Strategy

  • Branding and Marketing

  • Innovation

  • Extreme Creativity

  • Successful Implementation


Download Your FREE eBook! The 600 Most Powerful Strategic Planning Questions


Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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We’re getting a lot of questions currently about identifying the right strategic planning exercises.

That continues to surprise me, since I’d expect everyone is focused on implementing strategies at this point. We see it with our clients, though. Planning seems to be happening throughout the year with increasing frequency (more on that later).

10 Questions You Must Consider about Strategic Planning Exercises

If you’re among the executives planning for strategic planning, no matter what time of year, you need to ask these ten questions as you consider the right strategic planning exercises and approaches to pursue:

  1. Do we know what the expected outcome needs to be?
  2. What are the strategic decisions the plan must support?
  3. What types of structure will provide the necessary alignment within the planning process?
  4. What is the least amount of formal planning we can do to generate the expected results?
  5. What type of plan will work best for the organization when it comes to strategy implementation?
  6. Is there a particular level of planning to fuel successful strategy implementation? If so, what is it?
  7. How specific do the tactics need to be so that people can step up and implement them with a high degree of success?
  8. Do we have the right people, both in number and the mix of perspectives to collaborate successfully?
  9. How closely will management expect teams to follow the plan?
  10. Is there support for varying the plan when that makes the most sense?

These questions will help you evaluate the right types of strategic planning exercises. It will also suggest how to modify the approach you take to ensure the greatest success.

If you want help thinking through what these questions will mean for your organization, contact us. Let’s talk about how to streamline your strategic planning to maximize collaboration and strategic impact. – Mike Brown

Need Fresh Insights to Drive Your Strategy?

Download our FREE eBook: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis

swot-alternatives-cover

“Strategic Thinking Exercises: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” features eleven ideas for adapting, stretching, and reinvigorating how you see your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Whether you are just starting your strategy or think you are well down the path, you can use this eBook to:

  • Engage your team
  • Stimulate fresh thinking
  • Make sure your strategy is addressing typically overlooked opportunities and threats

Written simply and directly with a focus on enlivening one of the most familiar strategic planning exercises, “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” will be a go-to resource for stronger strategic insights!

Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Ways to Reimagine Your SWOT Analysis

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Follow Me:
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How solid is the strategy implementation process at your organization?

Some companies move seamlessly from ideas to strategies to execution. Other organizations continually struggle with translating great new product or process improvement strategies into results.

Which type of organization is yours? Do you have a well-defined strategy implementation process, or is implementation a haphazard activity?

You’re going to see more from us on strategy implementation in the coming weeks. For organizations implementing new initiatives this year, it’s a critical time to launch them successfully and make early course corrections on those that do not launch well.

So far, we have released new strategy implementation eBooks on moving forward during uncertain times and five ways to implement better and faster.

10 Questions for Successfully Launching New Programs

Today, we’re introducing another new Brainzooming implementation strategy process eBook: 10 Questions for Successfully Launching New Programs (we are calling it 10? for short).

10? Improve Process Implementation Strategy with these 10 Questions

We know from experience that exploring the strong project planning questions even before an initiative launches sets the stage for your implementation teams to consistently start down the best, most successful paths.

strategy implementation process toolsUsing the ten project planning questions in the FREE 10? eBook, you can determine how to best evaluate, finalize, and move forward on initiative goals, participants, implementation strategies, tactics, and timing.

Whether you are a senior executive, an initiative leader, a team member, or a project manager, you can ask these questions to facilitate action-oriented, strategic conversations. You will lay the groundwork to launch new initiatives with a greater shared understanding among your team. You will also develop a sharper sense of what is important strategically, plus the leeway you have to adjust implementation parameters moving forward.

Download your copy of 10 Questions for Successfully Launching New Programs today for you and your entire team.

Make 10? a routine element of your strategy implementation process!   – Mike Brown

 

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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