Tag Archives: strategic thinking

Strategic Thinking: Do the Opposite! Asking the right questions is what really drives change in an organization.

In the 1990’s one of the highest rated program in the U.S. was Seinfeld. The premise of this program was Jerry Seinfeld and his friends going through everyday life, talking about situations that many of us can relate to.  The personalities of the offbeat characters who make up Jerry’s social circle contribute to the fun. In one classic episode entitled The Opposite, Jerry’s theory that every instinct his friend George has is wrong. George decides to try the opposite, and that proves successful – finds a girlfriend, gets a great job and a nice apartment to live in — all not probable if he had followed his original instinct.  Obvious the sitcom does not always portray real life, but it I entertaining to think about.

So many times we focus on the answers to our questions and we miss the importance of asking the right questions.  If you approach that completely OPPOSITE – flipping the old way of thinking upside down — finding the right questions will definitely lead you to the right solution. Strategic thinking helps drive change in an organization only when the right questions are addressed.  Over the years, we have worked to identify which questions are most relevant.  Whether it is working with a large fortune 500 company or a small non-profit, we have seen the power of asking the RIGHT questions. Think about any situation you have been in …. How many time have you and your teammates jumped to solutions?  Have you ever heard the old saying “we have a solution looking for a problem”? If you approach that completely opposite – flipping the old way of thinking upside down — finding the right questions will definitely lead you to the right solution. Our Strategic Thinking Framework just does that, my colleague Jack Mastrianni and I have worked years to perfect this.  We use an hourglass to graphically display the questions. Next—Why the Hourglass –stay Tuned!  see the hourglass at www.globaledg.com

Are Strategic Plans Obsolete?

In this week’s Wall Street Journal Article “Strategic Plans Lose Favor” (January 25, 2010— link below) the questions were surfaced about the value of Strategic Plans. It really brings the conversation front and center.
The world has changed and those companies that have not invested time in building the capability of their organization to think strategically could be in trouble.

A plan that is built and shared at only at the top of the organization will just not work.

The strategic plans that we see working are living documents! They are collectively built, fact-based, externally focused and flexible. They have mechanisms to quickly address and communicate what an organization should start, stop or continue on a regular basis.

Leaders in every function and at all levels are trained to think and act strategically so that the organization is alert every day, week and month to renew their strategy.

All the best, Paul