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Skills For Expanding Strategic Thinking. 1st April 2004 Sarah Lewis & Stuart Schofield. Course Objectives. By the end of the day, participants should: Be able to use physical constructions to express existing mental models and to explore future possibilities

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Skills for expanding strategic thinking
Skills For Expanding Strategic Thinking

1st April 2004

Sarah Lewis & Stuart Schofield

++44 (0)20 8293 0017 [email protected]


Course objectives
Course Objectives

By the end of the day, participants should:

  • Be able to use physical constructions to express existing mental models and to explore future possibilities

  • Be able to use Appreciative Inquiry to co-construct attractive possible futures

  • Understand the relevance of such activities to strategic development

  • Have identified other opportunities to use these methods to create possibilities

++44 (0)20 8293 0017 [email protected]


Outline
Outline

  • Introduction to the Theory of Appreciative Inquiry and LEGO Serious Play

  • The A.I. Process - Discovery

  • The A.I. Process - Dreaming

    Lunch

  • The Science of Serious Play

  • The A.I. Process - Design

  • The A.I. Process - Destiny

    Reflections on the Day and End

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Theoretical basis
Theoretical Basis

  • Constructionism

  • Constructivism

  • Social Constructionism

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Constructivism and constructionism
Constructivism and Constructionism

  • Constructivism

    • Developed by Jean Piaget

      • Knowledge is not acquired bit by bit, it is constructed into coherent robust frameworks called knowledge structures

      • we are theory builders, constructing and rearranging knowledge based on our experiences on the world

  • Constructionism

    • Developed by Seymour Papert (based upon Piaget’s work)

      • Learning happens when we are engaged in constructing products external to ourselves

      • Better learning does not come from finding better ways of teaching or instructing, but from giving the learner better opportunities to construct

      • Concrete thinking complementary to abstract thinking

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Social constructionism
Social Constructionism

  • Reality is socially constructed

  • We create our realities in relationship and communication

  • We see what we talk about

  • Its a multi-verse not a universe

  • Meaning is context bound

  • We seek always to make sense and to go on

  • Organisations are networks of conversation

  • The future is socially constructed

  • Strategy is a particular form of talk

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Social constructionist based methodologies
Social Constructionist based methodologies

  • Working with metaphors and Stories

  • Lego Serious Play

  • Appreciative Inquiry

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Metaphors and

Story-Making

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Story making storytelling
Story-making & Storytelling

  • Storytelling

    • “The preferred sense-making currency of human relationships among internal and external stakeholders” – Boje (1991)

    • The lens though which action is understood

    • Socializing, bonding and organizational identification

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Metaphors
Metaphors

  • The Metaphor

    • Understanding experience in terms of something else

    • Generating new ways of understanding

    • Metaphor for a metaphor

      • The torch

        • Casting light on some perspectives, but leaving others in the dark

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Appreciative inquiry
Appreciative Inquiry

Discover and Value

‘the best of what is’

Affirmative Topic Choice

Dreaming

‘What might be’

Destiny

‘What will be’

Design through Dialogue

‘What should be’

++44 (0)20 8293 0017 [email protected]


The four d model
The four D model

  • Discovery: Discover and disclose positive capacity

  • Dreaming: A sense of how things could be

  • Design: Creation of the ideal organisation

  • Destiny: An inspired movement

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Lego serious play
LEGO Serious Play [email protected]

What is LEGO Serious Play?

  • A dynamic approach to utilising metaphors and story-telling to generate strategic ideas

    Why Use LEGO Serious Play?

  • Stimulates imagination in order to solve real business problems

  • Provides new insights into how your company operates today and challenges executives think about the future

  • Enables executives to communicate their issues and share perspectives - Making the most of the knowledgepresent in the room

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Strategy as socially constructed stories
Strategy As Socially Constructed Stories [email protected]

  • Both describe a sequence of events with classic archetypal figures (E.g. champions, sponsors, old guard and change agents )

  • There’s an implied author (traditionally the ‘boss’) an implied reader (us).

  • The telling of a story or strategy can fundamentally change people’s choices and actions, often in unconscious ways

  • Strategy is a creative process, not a deductive process

  • Emotions, beliefs, relationships and all things human play a part in strategy processes

++44 (0)20 8293 0017 [email protected]


Appreciative inquiry1
Appreciative Inquiry [email protected]

Discover and Value

‘the best of what is’

Affirmative Topic Choice

Dreaming

‘What might be’

Destiny

‘What will be’

Design through Dialogue

‘What should be’

++44 (0)20 8293 0017 [email protected]



Discovery
Discovery [email protected]

  • Identifying the best of what is, what works

  • Creating and amplifying accounts of the good, of peak experiences

  • Affirming good things (by paying attention, appreciating)

  • Creating data

  • Creating a launch pad for the future

  • Creating strategic possibilities

  • Generating hope and other good emotions

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Dreaming
Dreaming [email protected]

  • Imagining possible futures, in detail (positive anticipatory images)

  • Using discovery launch pad

  • Affirming good things (by paying attention, appreciating)

  • Playing with possibility, creating data, creating change

  • Shared positive experience

  • Creating strategy

  • Generating hope and other good emotions

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Strategy & [email protected]

The Science of Serious Play

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The building blocks
The “Building Blocks” [email protected]

Play always serves a purpose…

Metaphors

StoryMaking

Play

Construction

Learning and Development Theories

Imagination

The source on new knowledge

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Strategy as imagination
Strategy As Imagination [email protected]

  • Descriptive

    • Evoking images to describe the outside world

    • Identifying patterns and regularities in data

  • Creative

    • Seeing what is NOT there

    • Creating new ways of being

  • Challenging

    • Overturning the rules, wiping the slate clean

    • Starting afresh instead of building on what is there

    • De-constructing the known

      New knowledge is created in the dynamic and unpredictable interaction between the three dimensions of imagination

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    Strategy as mental models shared visions peter senge
    Strategy as Mental Models & Shared Visions - Peter Senge [email protected]

    • Shared Mental Models

      • Bring key assumptions about the business to the surface

  • Shared Vision

    • Top-Down visioning is always disappointing

    • Visions that are truly shared grow as by-products of interactions of individual visions

  • Advocacy an Enquiry

    • Advocates who can inquire into other’s visions open the possibility for the vision to evolve and become larger than our individual visions

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    Design
    Design [email protected]

    • Linking future and present

    • What are we doing now that makes that future (those futures) more or less likely?

    • Affirming good things (by paying attention, appreciating)

    • If we were like that, how would we be organized?

    • Shared positive experience

    • What can we do now, what can I do now?

    • Living strategy

    ++44 (0)20 8293 0017 sarah[email protected]



    Destiny
    Destiny [email protected]

    • Achieving coherence and co-ordination

    • Appreciating social nature of change, working with energy and flow - creative messiness

    • Appropriate processes of coherence (story, story board, action plan, provocative propositions)

    • Appropriate processes of co-ordination (communication, relationship, working parties, meetings)

    • Strategy in action

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    Destiny taking this forward

    Destiny - Taking this forward [email protected]

    How will what you have done today affect what you will do tomorrow?

    How will what you have done today affect your practice?

    How would you describe any strategic inspirations,

    affects, developments from today?

    Work in pairs and present back any way you like: talk, poem, mime, LEGO etc.


    Role of consultant
    Role of consultant [email protected]

    • Creative not curative

    • Focusing on what works, seeking the best

    • Working with stories, language, words, emotions, images

    • Affecting relationship and belief systems of meaning and action

    • Generous, curious, appreciative, systemic: helping create useful accounts in the present about the past to enhance the future

    ++44 (0)20 8293 0017 [email protected]


    Implications for managers and leaders
    Implications for managers and leaders [email protected]

    • What you look for is what you will find

    • What you talk about is what you will create

    • More than one account can exist, none is the truth, all may be true

    • Conversation/communication contains moral order

    • Affect action through communication

    • Pull is more powerful than push

    • Emotion, belief and values are the bedrock of motivation

    • ‘ I want’ (desire) is more generative than ‘I must’ (compulsion)

    ++44 (0)20 8293 0017 [email protected]


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