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Strategic Planning

1.14 Administration report: Horizons

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Administration report: Horizons – Helicopter view 🚁 — 1.14

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The CEO of a company often needs to give presentations to the board. How does the CEO explain the big policies? It is a good idea to talk about horizons. Horizons are something that can be discussed with the board, management group and the whole staff. It’s a helicopter view into the business.

Business horizons

Two persons running and three consecutive arrows making three separate leaps. These arrows represent business horizons.

The principal idea is very simple: We look at what kind of jumps we make in our business. We call them horizons. Then we’re able to see the current situation and the past situation. The future is foggy, but it’s possible to set clear goals into the future. The future can also be created. Goals can be bundled into horizons. 

The thing that makes this truly interesting, is that we rarely rise to a helicopter level in our everyday lives. We don’t see the big waves, instead we see clutter. When the horizons are crystallized, you see the thing that can help to make better decisions.  

Two persons running and three consecutive arrows making three separate leaps. These arrows represent business horizons.

First, the work begins by looking back. The result is a PowerPoint slide, in which the business horizons and big goals are listed. Last year’s horizon with its 10 most important points are included. Five points might suffice, but oftentimes the list becomes too long. Choose only the most important points.

3 business horizons with goals under each. Each leap represents a single year.

The next step is to list all the things the company wishes to achieve during this year. Perhaps some plans for the upcoming year can also be written down. Suddenly you have a map about all the big business jumps.  

This is your horizon! All the big choices and goals are listed. It’s pretty easy to write a long list, however, it takes some effort to compress the core issues to a tighter package. 

Yearly themes

3 business horizons with goals under each. Each leap represents a single year. Each year has a specific theme.

The next step is to give a theme for each year, and the theme is written on top of the curve. After a few years, the fruits of the labor becomes visible. 

8 year journey

A drawing of two persons sitting around a table and 8 arrows above the persons, representing business horizons for 8 years.

I have a great case that demonstrated this in practice. The case comes from a billion-dollar company, in which we have made jumps for eight years. The last time we made the eighth year leap, we started to feel that there are too many of them, that they don’t even fit into the picture. If a CEO shows a messy slide to the board, what would you think as a board member? You might think that this CEO has been in their position for a bit too long. Should the CEO be replaced? The CEO can be absolutely brilliant in their job, yet a thought like this can emerge nevertheless. 

Two-year business horizons

A drawing of two persons sitting around a table with a two-year business horizon consisting of four arrows with four themes.

This created a clear image. 

Strategy journey

A group of people cheering underneath four arrows, each arrow representing a separate theme.

Take a guess what our management team’s reaction was when this image was presented to them. This image helped everyone to understand the company’s situation. In fact, the image showed great logic, a great journey, a strategy journey.  

Sometimes I joke that the best strategies are written afterwards. When you look back, the journey seems like a straight line, even though it certainly didn’t feel like it. The management group felt that our company’s thing is actually pretty cool! 

In Finland, we have a tendency to compare ourselves with Sweden. In Sweden, people use superlatives constantly. The best superlative we, in Finland, can stereotypically think of is “Not too bad”. We should know how to hype our strategy journeys because they are truly great! 

A group of people cheering underneath four arrows, each arrow representing a separate theme. A helicopter is hovering above. Text: “Strategy journey”iew

Helicopter view

With a horizontal image the management group, the board and the staff get a helicopter view into the whole operation. It helps to visualize the ambition that is needed during the next jump. When people are presented with a crystallized form of reality, anyone is able to understand the thing.  

I have many times mentioned the five-day war of Kuwait and general Schwarzkopf’s story about the satellite perspective. If you’re down on ground level at the sand dunes and encounter the enemy, you’re able to make good decisions. However, if you rise to the satellite level, “then you know what to do” to a much better degree. This is the same thing with the horizontal image. 

A large multitude of people observing four arrows, each arrow representing a separate themes.

When the presentation has been shown to the board and they have given feedback on it, it is, of course, shown to the staff as well. The outcome is clear. Pride, excitement and sensibleness are the outcomes the organization gets to enjoy. 

Drawing of a sun, people observing and cheering, represented by four arrows, each with a unique theme. Text: “Strategy Journey”

Strategy journey becomes reality

Everyone suddenly remembers what has been done. New employees understand the kind of company they’re working at and they see the reason in making the journey that is defined in the strategy. The word spreads between friends and the employer’s brand improves. 

This is how the strategy journey becomes reality! It doesn’t only remain as a plan, but it actually translates into lived experience.  

Build your business horizons and ignite your strategy! Read more.🔥 

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Stradigo

Stradigo is a brand owned by Rdigo Oy (Business-ID: 2120844-1).

Rdigo Oy is registered in Finland as a Limited company. We are a strategy consultancy located in the Helsinki capital region.

We’ve been in business since 2007. The company name comes from the latin word Redigo, meaning both ‘I shape’ & ‘I renew’.

Stradigo combines the word strategy with Rdigo.

Categories
Strategic Leadership

2.13 Case: Inspiring managerial strategy meeting

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Case: Inspiring Managerial Strategy Meeting — 2.13

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I had an amazing experience at a managerial strategy meeting! It was new and exciting!

Different managerial strategy meeting

Drawing of two boxing gloves and text: “Challenge the mantras!”

This meeting was different in some way. The dynamic was different with 47 managers from different nationalities, something I’ve never experienced before. We took a risk and gave only two-minute-long presentations each. Only two minutes per presentation, can you believe it?! The meeting also included five group assignments. A three-hour meeting which included two five-minute breaks every hour, five group assignments, and almost 20 presentations! 

Quarterly strategy update

Drawing of a circle representing the yearly clock with strategy updates every quarter, Q1,2,3 & 4 alongside a drawing of two cheering people.

Firstly, this was about making a quarterly update to the strategy. This company’s strategy process has become agile. A large strategy process takes place once every 3 – 5 years, during which no stone is left unturned. After that, the strategy is updated quarterly with flexibility. Goals and subgoals are updated as the situation changes. The leaders, along with their groups, prepare the goals for the next quarter. Now was the time for a quarterly check-up for the managers, in which the goals for different individuals were laid out and discussed. This was a completely different kind of meeting where issues were summarized, and it involved people on a large scale.  

Strategy update

Drawing of a CEO who presents one-page strategy update to an organization with an elevator pitch. Text: “Strategy 1Pager, CEO, New Elevator Pitch”

The CEO welcomed everyone and told us about the goal of the day. A one-page strategy, the Strategy 1Pager, was in use. It had been modified with a few minor changes. It included an elevator pitch, which was the new thing. The elevator pitch means that the core idea is condensed into a couple sentences – a true high-level strategy crystallization, which effectively summarizes the strategy down to the core points. In case someone asks anyone involved about the company’s strategy, they better have an answer! The elevator pitch helps out in this situation.  

By the way, profitable growth or growth aren’t strategies, they’re strategy types. When profitable growth is wanted, the strategy answers HOW the growth is created. 

Commenting in groups

Drawing of groups commenting an elevator pitch in a digital environment during a strategy update. Text: “New Elevator Pitch”

At the start of the managerial strategy meeting, the CEO spoke for about 15 minutes. The great thing was that people got to comment on the presented elevator speech in groups. The group work only took five minutes. A few improving ideas were commented, but all comments were mostly very exciting and clear!  

Market situation

Drawing of a globe and three people. One person is pointing at the globe. Text: “Market situation, 2 minute presentations!”ons

The next phase included presentations from three Business Unit leaders. 

I told everyone that they had two minutes to explain what’s going on in the market. That simply hasn’t been done before! They had one slide prepared, much like the one above. As they spoke, I took notes and wrote them under the slide. I took time with my watch and let them know when they had 15 seconds left of their time. They spoke a couple of seconds over their time, but this system worked beautifully!  

The next BU leader held their speech. So did the third one. And all of a sudden, we had listened to everything we needed to know about the market situation – in just 6 minutes! These three BU leaders were very good speakers, it was a pleasure to listen to them. 

After that, everyone was allowed to speak in groups of three for five minutes. The groups consisted of different nationalities.  

Group assignment: What inspires you?

Drawing of a globe and a small group of cheering people alongside five comments about what inspires them. Text: “There is a clear movement happening in the market! Trend is your friend!”; “That customers are there and the demand.”; “Being one of the first movers is always inspiring. Many interesting opportunities.”; “We are right there where the growth is! That is motivating.”; “Our offer is right and reflecting the customers demand of more sustainable products”

People were divided into breakout rooms to answer the question: What is exciting about the market situation? You see, one doesn’t always have to talk about the market situation as a threat. Everyone wrote their comments on a digital platform. Here were some of the comments we received: 

“There is a clear movement happening in the market! Trend is your friend! 

“The customers are there and the demand.”  

“Being one of first movers is always inspiring. Many interesting opportunities.”  

“We are right there where the growth is! That is motivating.”  

“Our offer is right and reflecting the customer’s demand of more sustainable products.”  

We received comments from each group, 15 altogether! We picked a few of them to discuss in a larger group. It’s so handy to divide people into breakout rooms and then back again, with just a touch of a button. We utilized Microsoft Teams for this. 

Quarter goals

Drawing of a dartboard and three groups of people with different colored shirts, representing presentation about quarter goals. Text: “2 minutes!”

The next exercise was about presenting the quarterly goals. The Business Unit leaders once again had two minutes to talk about their quarterly goals. I had an image, which depicted the strategic goals, yearly goals, the previous quarter goals. Now was the time to present the next quarter’s goals.  

After that came the next units: Marketing, HR, communications, financing, a lawyer, and several others gave their presentations. 12 presentations, two minutes at a time! Beforehand I had thought by myself what this all will amount to. The end result ended up being amazing!  

Group assignment: How does it seem?

A group of people giving comments on quarter goals, represented by a dartboard. Text: “Transparent, Clear and Focused!”; “Quarterly solid goals that will be valid and important also in long term perspective!”; Goals seem focused and ambitious. Need to ensure we are both ambitious and realistic in terms of timeline to achieve.”; “Not easy to evaluate all the goals but increases the understanding what the others are doing. Many things going on.”; “Good to see support functions task/goals! This needs to be seen by the whol organization. Overall goals seems good and leading to success (long/short term).”

The whole group of managers now understood the supporting functions and their goals! Very often they are left forgotten. Again, people were divided into groups and asked how everything seemed like.  

“Transparent, clear, and focused! 

“Quarterly solid goals that will be valid and important also in long term perspective! 

“Goals seem focused and ambitious. Need to ensure we are both ambitious and realistic in terms of timeline to achieve. – This comment shows, that it had power!” 

“Not easy to evaluate all the goals, but increases the understanding what the others are doing. Many things going on. – A small moment, and suddenly it created full transparency!”  

“Good to see support functions task/goals! This needs to be seen by the whole organization. Overall goals seem good and leading to success (long/short term)”  

It was, of course, a risk to give two-minute presentations, but it got a round of applauds!  

Key figures

Drawing of a chart that is growing (representing key figures) and a CEO that points at the growing figures. Text: “CEO”

Now it was time for the CEO to explain the numbers and volumes. Volumes had been good, but profitability needed improvement. 

People being asked the question “Where to get more power?”. Text answers: “The biggest levers are working together, seeing each other’s perspectives and finding the solutions to common goals.”; “Reduce the manual tasks, and develop automation solutions.”; “Shorter meetings, summarize the key points for the meeting. No extensive presentation preparation for internal meetings.”; “Ensure solid business processes and especially cost efficiency of our supply chain as we grow.”; “Less internal topics. Systems need to support workflows better. Meeting preparation!”; “Meet more customers, present our offering.

The next group assignment was to answer a tougher question: Where to find the big levers? A lever is my favorite metaphor. All activities are levers. There are small, medium, and large levers. Everyone got to identify the biggest things in their opinion.   

Customer orientation was a topic that stood out from the comments. The customer is always at the front of the strategy. Comments were also given about internal meetings. People wished for fewer and shorter meetings. Work should be done together, with digital technology! Business processes and automation come into the picture even more strongly. Pretty cool!  

We also discussed how it would be possible to do less. Where would time be of use? These issues were discussed once again in groups.  

New IT boss

Survey results and a drawing of a person pointing at them. Text: “Relevant topics just continue with those targets.”; “To have a good helicopter view of the IT ecosystem. Make sure that people use the same systems.”; “IT works well.”; “More coordinated view on IT-needs and priorities.”

Next up was the IT manager’s introduction. They had together with their group begun a process, where the TOP3 key strategic questions for IT were contemplated. 

The first question was: How can IT support us to grow our business as efficiently as possible? – Answers were given on a scale according to relevancy. 

The last question got the least points: How could we get rid of overlapping systems? – Organizations have a number of systems, some of which overlap each other. 

If and when a new business acquisition is made, new systems are often included in the deal. The image above shows that cleanup got the least points, that’s fine. However, profitability requires cleanup. Here are some comments we gathered during a short five-minute group assignment: 

“Relevant topics, just continue with those targets.”    

“To have a good helicopter view of the IT ecosystem. Make sure that people use the same systems.”  

“IT works well.”   

“More coordinated view on IT-needs and priorities.”  

Wrap-up: How was the strategy meeting?

Word cloud “How was the strategy meeting?”. Text: “Efficient, good, very good and effective, good silo removal initiative, intense, inspiring, interesting, exiting, addictive, energizing, useful, connective, great, eye opening and inspiring, inspirational, informative, helicopter, yes, essential, excellent, co-operation, enlightening, clarifying.”

Finally, we asked people to give pulse comments about the managerial strategy meeting. The image below speaks for itself! 

Usually, someone says that the speed was too fast. At the beginning of the meeting, I said to everyone that it is what it is. We need to get more done in less time! – Welcome to the new normal! 

I was however surprised there was no critique. The idea of a managerial strategy meeting with two-minute presentations and discussions was a hit! It was also fun that people changed groups every time. Many got to meet new colleagues they hadn’t even talked to before. 

Taking advantage of technology is the trick! Utilize it! 

If you’re interested in this topic, let’s make a similar process with your group! I claim, that this really can change a company’s culture as one sees the opportunities to work with a larger group. If you hit the nerve, the management level, with agile work policies, things will begin to happen! 

Ignite your strategy! Read more.🔥 

Finding Us On Social Media

Stradigo

Stradigo is a brand owned by Rdigo Oy (Business-ID: 2120844-1).

Rdigo Oy is registered in Finland as a Limited company. We are a strategy consultancy located in the Helsinki capital region.

We’ve been in business since 2007. The company name comes from the latin word Redigo, meaning both ‘I shape’ & ‘I renew’.

Stradigo combines the word strategy with Rdigo.

Categories
Strategy Implementation

3.03 Cut your meetings by half with digital technology

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Cut your meetings by half with digital technology — 3.03

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Cutting meetings by half is surprising, but a completely realistic thing. You just need the help of technology. I’ll explain how to do it!

Text: Shorten meeting by 50%

Getting people to cut down on their meeting time without changing their way of operating is impossible. Not even worth trying! Is it in fact so, that cutting down the time spent in meetings is possible with technology? I say it is. You can indeed succeed in cutting down meetings while increasing meeting efficiency. Let me explain how. 

How to lead a business?

8 people gathered around a table representing a business meeting.

Let’s begin with how to run businesses. Businesses are run through meetings. People talk during meetings. Of course, very shocking, people talk. Yet, this is such a fundamentally important thing that it needs to be emphasized, even if it is super obvious. You will see why, very soon. Please keep reading. 

By talking!

8 people gathered around a table representing a business meeting. The people are talking.

Businesses are run by talking. The whole point is that the group converses. If this conversation is cut short, will there be things left unsaid? Might be, but not necessarily! 

Cut down and shorten meetings!

Large gathering of people around multiple tables holding many separate meetings.

In many specialist organizations, time is consumed in consecutive meetings. One should also have time to operate. Where is the time cut out of? 

Two persons running, alongside a text headline “Time to operate!”

 Let’s not begin with lengthening the working hours, that’s a legal issue. Otherwise, people have no energy left. Time must be cut out from the meetings! Either the less important meetings need to be cut down, or the general babbling diminished. How is it done? 

Communicating

Image describing how during meetings communication can be steered in a group with the help of a digital board.

Regular meetings are the core of leading and management group meetings are crucial. The next meeting is in two- or four-weeks’ time. What happens in-between? In the old world, people call each other, send emails, and chit-chat in the corridors. Waiting isn’t always an option, it’s better to make decisions faster. If the boss makes a decision on their own, many employees get irritated. That’s usually why everyone waits until the next meeting. However, the waiting time can be long and it slows down the whole operation. Not good! 

Here’s the alternative: What if we communicated between meetings? Not two-by-two, but in a group! Technology is your friend.

Transparency!

Two people to the left discussing in hiding. Six people on the right discussing transparently with each other.

It’s completely possible to involve transparency in the process. When you use Microsoft Teams and you have a channel for the management team’s conversations, you are able to chat within the channel. When information is shared with the group, it’s the same as talking in a meeting. This is how the group becomes transparent, information is no longer only in the heads of two people. Information is shared with the whole group. Reading is also faster than listening. Save meeting time, that’s the point! Without transparency, it won’t work!

No more unorganized emails!

Unorganized letter representing emails that have not been sorted in an inbox.

In this type of operation, emails are no longer a messy pile. Your inbox won’t be full of individual emails, they are bundled and no longer fragmented. When the conversation is transferred from the email into a Teams channel, the focus remains much better. It increases profitability.   

3 drawn people cheering.

Shorten meetings. Less participants.

Cutting meeting time is also easier if preparation and post-processing are done within the channel. Decreasing the number of participants in a physical meeting is based on the fact that many people are in a meeting only to listen and to gain information. When information is transferred to a channel, including the meeting agenda, notes, and Protocol, you are able to read the information also at another time. Alternatively, you can receive a short oral briefing regarding your work without having to attend the full meeting. Again, if an issue is not resolved during the meeting, the conversation can be continued inside the channel. Then, also those that were absent can have their voices heard. 

As I’m writing this, I just learned that OneNote is expecting a new really cool feature. It enables meetings to be transcribed in real-time. Everything that is spoken during a meeting transcribes into text. This means that the conversation becomes documented! In the case of absence, you can read the whole conversation in a fraction of the time spent attending the whole meeting. 

This is how we can decrease the number of participants. People are able to acquire the information they need and to give their input in-between meetings. 

This is a revelation! The analog world gets challenged by digitalization. Shorter meetings, fewer participants, more time to operate! This will be a huge competitive advantage. The problem is of course that people are slow and their behavior takes time to change. Some, however, do it quickly and manage better! You are in charge of when it is the right time for you. If you can manage to do things the traditional way, go ahead! 

If you’re asking me, be curious and have a go with this! Improve your meeting structure!

Automatic Reporting

Drawing of a to-do list and speech bubbles. The speech bubbles represent a discussion about the to-do list in the form of automatic reporting.

This is when a phenomenon called reporting takes place. The entire meeting reports automatically! No need to go through all the trouble. This has to be a significant factor in meeting efficiency! 

Leadership into the digital world

Leadership in a digital environment.

Dear friend, this means that the entire leadership can gain a digital twin inside the digital world. The physical world is still there, but it becomes more efficient. Some say they want to meet in person, but isn’t it so that we all want to work at a place where we succeed better and where we don’t sit in pointless meetings? The wrong kind of human contact is only a burden. Of course, we want to meet one another, and we will find the optimal balance. A digital twin is formed for our operation. 

All leadership meetings are therefore also online. The conversations can be opened up to a larger group so that others are also able to follow the conversation. People get more information about what the company’s big picture actually is. Of course, all is not shared with everyone. There will continue to be confidential matters, but quite a lot can be shared with others too. The default value changes: Primarily, everything is transparent, unless it is defined as confidential. People also get to decide what information they need for their work. 

I’m so excited about this! I’m also pretty sure that when we look back in 20-30 years, we will never be able to understand how we could live in such oblivion. Information transfer will change for sure! Why? Because there’s a need for it. People will want this because it makes their job more meaningful. Less bullshit! More action! More results! Information will travel much better than before, even with fewer meetings. 

Leadership into the digital world

Drawing of an apple that represents a low-hanging fruit.

Now you can pick the long-hanging fruit. 🍎 You already have the system, Teams. Transfer leadership into the digital world, my friend. By doing so, you gain a more meaningful and more efficient workplace.  

Take the digital twin into use and ignite your strategy! Read more.🔥 

Finding Us On Social Media

Stradigo

Stradigo is a brand owned by Rdigo Oy (Business-ID: 2120844-1).

Rdigo Oy is registered in Finland as a Limited company. We are a strategy consultancy located in the Helsinki capital region.

We’ve been in business since 2007. The company name comes from the latin word Redigo, meaning both ‘I shape’ & ‘I renew’.

Stradigo combines the word strategy with Rdigo.

Categories
Customer Strategy

5.04 The strategic core-questions customers deal with

Stradigo

The Strategic Core Questions Customers Deal With — 5.04

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One hallmark of a strategic core question that it deals with a high-level topic. What do customers really want from us? Wouldn’t it be nice to understand what it is and to make the entire staff internalize the core issues? The exercise I will soon reveal is quite powerful. You should involve your whole group to take part in it.

Customer's strategic core question

Drawing of an inside-out perspective with two persons. The blue person is looking at the green person with an arrow going to the green person.

In practice, it’s very hard to get people to think about matters from the customer’s point of view. It’s too easy just to focus on selling products and services because that’s what our work essentially is. We think inside-out, even though we know well enough that we should approach things from a customer-oriented perspective. 

Drawing of an outside-in perspective with two persons. The green person is looking at the blue person & has a question mark.

How could we get people to work outside-in? Let’s begin by receiving the customer’s question first, and then we explain how the issue is solved. Very simple, but oh so difficult! 

Text: “An authentic customer-oriented approach isn’t easy.” And a drawing of six footsteps going to the right.

An authentic customer-oriented approach and deeply understanding isn’t exactly easy! People have been working with the customer-oriented approach for a very long time. Yet, now just talking about a customer-oriented approach is not enough. Words must actually translate into actions. It’s time to take the next step. Yet, the question remains. What does a customer-oriented approach look like in practice? This question can be remedied with the following exercise. 

What are the customers' TOP3 strategic core questions to us?

Simple drawing of a podium with the positions #1, #2, and #3.

First of all, let’s think. What are the three core questions our customers ask us? They are high-level (strategic) core questions, which don’t necessarily have the appearance of concrete worries. It’s a question like What are the customers asking about? If you and your group can figure out an answers, wonderful things will happen in your organization! 

This figure presents the first core questions of a customer. Why is something happening? How will the we respond?

This is how the exercise goes: First you write the customer’s core question in the header. The two boxes will be filled with text. The first box is called Why? and the other box is called How? 

Why? In this situation why stands for the reason causing market pressure. What is the logic, the rationale, that is improved through actions? Often these things have to do with changing market conditions. A need must be answered. The customers are likewise experiencing their own customer pressures (in a B2B space). 🙂 Demands may include things like sustainable development. But pressure can also come from the owners, for example better results or profitability. Technological change also brings with it another set of challenges on top of the previously mentioned ones. Competition also exists, which need to be taken into account. At a fundamental level this is comparable to an arms race that is decided by who can be the most efficient and the fastest while delivering the best possible result for the customers. Cherish your competitiveness and take care of it lest you fall behind. 

Make your group think about this very important topic. What is the market situation and why must we act? Your organization can reap huge benefits by finding answers to these questions together, even if the questions are obvious. 

Box number two: How do we respond to the identified market pressures? 

Think about this from your perspective:  

The second box is filled with issues that can help us better help our customers. What is our answer? How do we understand the customer’s situation? How do we act? What kind of services and solutions should we provide for the customer’s needs? 

Differentiation is a challenge. We really need to sit down and think about how we are different from our competitors. Differentiation is most times quite difficult because everyone copies each other fast. And even if we think we’re better than our competitors, we necessarily aren’t. It can be an optical illusion. They are smart as well and think a lot, and do everything they can to take our salary payments. Ouch! 

Lets once again consider things from my perspective: 

Differentiation should be in the details. I have spoken a lot about my sun model, which is utilized to list several points to differentiate in.  

Let’s look at this from your perspective: 

But what is the principle through which we differentiate? The boxes in the image above only fit the principles, the high-quality how-questions. How do we operate in practice? We might need a new Game Book to write our changing operation models into. 

Let’s look at this from my perspective: 

As I write this, I held an exercise with an IT unit. IT is difficult in a sense because they easily go and blame the company and their own customers. Others don’t necessarily understand IT. I told them to stop the blaming! If an idea to blame someone arises, take note also of your own behavior. How could you have spoken so, that the other person would have understood? Don’t point with your finger, your thumb is always pointing back to you. You can’t change others, but you can change yourself! 

When the two boxes in the image above are filled with thoughts, it creates a page for each core question. Write 7-10 bullet points, no more.  

This figure presents the first core questions of a customer. Why is something happening? How will we respond? A large group of people look at these questions.

Do this work together with your team. We did the same exercise today during an online meeting. This is a very healthy exercise! It creates a feeling that issues are clarified. Even if these are familiar subjects, you can rest assured people have different visions about the world around us. The point of the exercise is to get your whole group to go in the same direction. It’s surprising that we edit our words so in detail. Words have meanings and better words are better. Words indeed still are the best weapons. 

Text: "Challenge, challenge"
Let’s look at this from your perspective: 

When we do this exercise, we should also know how to challenge ourselves 

Let’s switch back to my perspective: 

A third party is often good to include in the challenging process because they know to ask questions one wouldn’t otherwise come to think of. 

Text: “Break the bubble!” and a drawing of a needle popping a bubble that contains five people.
Let’s look at this from your perspective, while talking from mine: 

We all have our mantras. Each and every one of us lives in our own working environment, which creates these mantras and beliefs. Break the bubble with good questions. If challenging is done wrong, people only get upset. That’s a talent to practice. 

Let’s look at this from my perspective: 

Not so long ago I also ended up in a bad situation because I didn’t know to challenge as I should have. This led to everyone getting upset. I chose the wrong words, but luckily this case was only one out of 150. Challenging is difficult, and once again I learned something new! I really had to contemplate the situation personally.  

Now I am addressing you, the reader: 

Break the bubble, my friend. Try to see if there are new opportunities! 

Text: “From strategic level into focus areas”. Figure describing how strategic questions turn into goals (represented by a dartboard)
HELP! WHAT IS GOING ON?! 

The next step is focus areas. We have created three pages with very important points. One page usually forms during one workshop. I no longer hold two-hour workshops, 1h45min instead. Distance working needs a 15-minute break before the next meeting. Hence 1h45min per page! 

We held the first workshop yesterday, and today as we proceeded to the second meeting, we received a comment 

“Now I’m starting to understand what happened yesterday!”

It might be that the issues inside the boxes are obvious, but it takes time to really comprehend them! We live in our bubble and culture that has formed. Breaking the bubble is an artform! 

Recognizing the focus areas is the next phase. I tend to crystallize the needed change into three focus areas, which are followed by two to three big breakthrough goals. We have suddenly hopped down from the helicopter perspective into the concrete world. 

I can assure you, that the concrete actions and goals that have formed during this exercise aren’t the same as if you looked at your goals without the upper-level perspective. It can be a clear difference. Because this exercise doesn’t require investing many hours, I claim this is a delicious and useful investment. It takes people in a common direction. Our culture can consist of many big bugs, or soft spots as I call them, and this way they are exposed. It can create better goals. 

This is my motto: 

Text: “Head in the clouds but with very long legs.”

Having your head in the clouds means that we are at a strategic level. We need to get back down to earth, into the concrete world. People are so used to thinking about concrete things daily, that one must almost force them (in a positive way) to rise to the skies. From that perspective, you get a different view of reality. If all you do is stay on the ground, in everyday life, it easily creates a narrow perspective. This is Markus’s motto. 

Point of the exercise

Text: “Common direction” & “Better goals”. Figure that contains a sector with people, a sun, and a dartboard.

The first point of this strategic core question exercise is to strengthen the common direction. The conversation it creates is fruitful. We always receive positive pulse comments, such as

“Today we got new perspectives!”

One perspective might be the customer perspective… 

Point number two: You can get better goals. When they are implemented, you get a more successful business. Normally, goals are broken down into actions, which are followed during strategy implementation.  

Try this exercise and include a third-party facilitator! 

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Stradigo

Stradigo is a brand owned by Rdigo Oy (Business-ID: 2120844-1).

Rdigo Oy is registered in Finland as a Limited company. We are a strategy consultancy located in the Helsinki capital region.

We’ve been in business since 2007. The company name comes from the latin word Redigo, meaning both ‘I shape’ & ‘I renew’.

Stradigo combines the word strategy with Rdigo.