Strategic Thinking Exercise – A SWOT Analysis to Push Thinking

BrainZooming

Yesterday’s post on using a new type of SWOT analysis to stimulate bolder strategic conversations in strategy meetings garnered quite a bit of attention. It received enough attention that we decided to share an additional strategic thinking exercise that puts a twist on the typical SWOT analysis. To add depth and breadth to the strategic thinking exercise, however, we add four probes to each area of the SWOT analysis.

Strategic Thinking Exercise – Use a New SWOT Nobody Expects

BrainZooming

Going into a strategy meeting today that is sure to be a snoozer ? Even if you are going into the meeting with the same old people , the same old topics, and the same old expectations to just get a strategy done and put into a notebook on a shelf so you can go back to doing what you’ve always been doing, there is hope! Use a New SWOT Strategic Thinking Exercise Nobody Expects. Yes, try a SWOT strategic thinking exercise looking for ideas that are: Scary.

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7 Strategic Thinking Questions When Things Aren’t Working

BrainZooming

7 Strategic Thinking Questions When Things Aren’t Working. When things took an unexpected turn the other day, I mentally flew through various strategic thinking questions trying to comes up with ideas to adjust what we were doing. When you have solid planning (maybe even over-planning), good strategic thinking questions to identify ways to adapt, and an appreciation for flexibility, unexpected events become a wonderful opportunity for learning and developing.

Strategic Thinking Exercises – 3 Responses to New Ideas

BrainZooming

The objective was to help them become better strategic thinkers and marketers. Since all the companies competed with one another, each one needed to determine its own business strategies. It seems ridiculous to help a company become better at strategic thinking and marketing without being allowed to tell them how to do it. Strategic Thinking Exercises – 3 Responses to New Ideas. 10 Keys to Engaging Stakeholders to Improve Strategic Results.

9 Strategic Thinking Questions to Start Strategic Conversations

BrainZooming

The previous Brainzooming article was on listening for strategic insights in order to not waste strategic conversations. If you understand the types of information you need to develop a strategic plan, you can often get a jump start on completing it simply by listening closely to strategic conversations for valuable input. If you have the right people present , and they are in a chatty mood, how can you morph the gathering into a strategic conversation?

9 Strategic Thinking Questions – Helping Teams Execute Strategy

BrainZooming

Many organizations are in the early stages of executing new strategies for this year. That is when you discover whether you have a solid, implementable plan or something that (maybe) looks good on paper, but doesn’t work well when you try to execute the strategy. 9 Strategic Thinking Questions for Helping Teams Execute Strategy. Do you personally believe in the strategy? Were serious, strategic people involved in creating the strategy?

Strategic Thinking – Job Descriptions Don’t Define Innovation Potential

BrainZooming

I asked them to engage in some strategic thinking about innovation opportunities for the company. They used that as a justification for opting out of strategic thinking. I disabused them of the idea, however, that their narrow job descriptions were synonymous with narrow strategic thinking roles. I reminded them (in case no one ever had) that they had a HUGE brand role no matter how narrow everyone thinks they are as a group.

Strategic Thinking Exercise – An Alternative Vision Statement Approach

BrainZooming

During in-person and online strategic planning workshops , we regularly use a strategic thinking exercise that helps leadership groups quickly identify a shared future vision statement. Participants assess where they think the organization currently is and where they want it to be in the future on multiple “strategic dimensions.” We place each strategic dimension on a scale having multiple written descriptions of ways to approach it.

Strategic Thinking – 6 Ideas to Put a List in Order

BrainZooming

We have been working with a client that had done a lot of strategic thinking about a new initiative. Because of this, the list was worthless for doing what I suspect everyone hoped it would do: provide a starting point for the strategic thinking needed to back into a definition of and explanation for what the new initiative would turn out to be. Those are six starting places to use when you are doing strategic thinking about big lists.

Strategic Thinking Exercise – 4 Ways to Examine Brand Performance

BrainZooming

Here’s an idea for a new strategic thinking exercise that can be a big help. 4 Ways to Examine Brand Performance as a Strategic Thinking Exercise. It struck me how a comparable concept (an Examination of Brand Performance) would be helpful as a strategic thinking exercise for monitoring your organization or brand progress throughout the year. This is definitely a strategic thinking exercise idea from the Brainzooming R&D lab.

Strategic Thinking Exercises – 11 Things Running through a Facilitator’s Head

BrainZooming

We facilitated a two-day innovation strategy workshop for an industrial company. The company wants to make significant changes to a major production process. During the innovation strategy discussions, we addressed the production process changes from five different perspectives. In each of the five mini-innovation strategy workshops, we had a group of core team members, plus people familiar with each perspective.

Strategic Thinking – 16 Ideas for Creating an Entrepreneurial Environment Inside Your Company

BrainZooming

At the 2016 Brand Strategy Conference, Antonia Dean, Director – Marketing, Brand Development, & Strategy at The Estée Lauder Companies covered the strategic thinking ideas behind creating an entrepreneurial environment in a large company. In her role, Antonia Dean focuses on incubating acquisitions and top-secret new product concepts. 16 Strategic Thinking Ideas for Creating an Entrepreneurial Environment Inside Your Company.

A 5-Level Collaboration Strategy Approach

BrainZooming

We’ve written about the importance of signaling collaboration strategy preferences when you and team members are working remotely. Talking with someone who is struggling with identifying the best ways to signal the appropriate collaboration strategy approash, we hit on a variation on the Sergio Zyman decision levels. A 5-Level Collaboration Strategy Approach. C – The leader and team will collaborate from scratch to figure it out.

Community Collaboration Workshops Come in All Sizes

BrainZooming

The week included: Large scale community collaboration workshops – Nearly eighty students from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale gathered Monday night and a comparable number of Carbondale, IL residents assembled on Tuesday for community collaboration workshops to imagine the community’s future with Gigabit Internet capabilities. Switching among so many ways we facilitate community collaboration and learning for organizations keeps us at the top of our game.

41 Surprising Things about Community Collaboration Done Well

BrainZooming

In nearly every Brainzooming community collaboration workshop, we conclude with a Plus-Minus-Interesting-Recommendation-Question exercise (a PMIRQ for short). Based on the large number of responses to the individual PMIRQ handout sheets at the Southern Illinois University and Carbondale, IL community visioning session workshops, we wanted to share what people found “interesting” about participating in a community collaboration workshop. Small unknown group collaboration”.

15 Things to Look for in a Business Collaboration

BrainZooming

I mentioned upcoming business collaboration opportunities for Brainzooming yesterday , including co-presentations, creating content, and developing new workshop and training offerings. What to look for in a business collaboration? Shame on me, but I’ve never put the criteria I look for from a business collaboration into the type of strategic decision making tool we develop for clients. There is a mutual commitment to learning from the business collaboration.

Strategic Planning – 10 Keys to Collaborative Strategy

BrainZooming

How do you gain the best advantage from the expertise, experience, and ideas inside your organization as you pursue strategic planning? Success factors in strategic planning and creating collaborative strategy were the central topics we tackled on an edition of Smart Companies Radio, hosted by Kelly Scanlon, the owner of Thinking Bigger Business Media, Inc., Creating Strategic Impact mini-book. 10 Keys to Collaborative Strategy and Strategic Planning.

Team Collaboration – 14 Benefits from Pre-Meeting Outreach

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Learning what participants in an upcoming big meeting know, think, and believe before they come together in a large group is one tactic to strengthen team collaboration. 14 Team Collaboration Benefits from Pre-Meeting Outreach. Depending on the nature of the pre-meeting outreach you conduct with participants, it can promote team collaboration and help: Get to know participants better and figure out how to best work with them. Gain a sense of what people already think.

4 Vital Characteristics of Collaborative Strategy Leaders

BrainZooming

What leadership skills are necessary to successfully champion a collaborative strategy ? A client fully immersed in developing and implementing a collaborative strategy asked that question. The task at hand is selecting “champions” from among the organization’s leadership team to move forward with strategic initiatives developed from the input of employees across the organization. 4 Vital Characteristics of Collaborative Strategy Leaders.

Strategic Planning – 3 Surprising Ways Online Collaboration Works

BrainZooming

We’re big proponents of the value of bringing together a diverse group of people with varied creative thinking skills for strategic planning workshops within organizations and communities. Often, however, executives jump too quickly to flying everyone into one place for a big strategic planning meeting. When discussing a strategic planning or innovation strategy engagement with a client, we use the graphic below to design our recommended approach.

7 Collaborative Strategic Planning Process Impacts (Even if the Plan Sits on the Shelf)

BrainZooming

Talking to executives, you hear the expectation that an organization should implement a solid strategic plan strategy-by-strategy. To the extent a strategic plan is not implemented in that way, it falls short in some fashion. This goes along with the idea that if you never remove the big strategic planning notebook from your office shelf, it is a complete failure: you might as well not even do a strategic plan.

5 Things Collaborative Strategic Planning Isn’t

BrainZooming

If you’ve been a Brainzooming reader for any length of time, you know we’re huge proponents of collaborative strategic planning. Collaborative planning implies a process that goes beyond the board room to include individuals throughout the organization in meaningful ways to provide insights and input to shape organizational strategy. Admittedly, collaborative planning processes aren’t all that common. 5 Things Collaborative Strategic Planning Isn’t.

113 Ideas for Strategic Planning Process Improvement

BrainZooming

It is time for strategic planning across organizations. To make it a little easier to track down ideas for how you can approach developing strategy this year, here are nineteen Brainzooming articles filled with 113 techniques and ideas for improving your organization’s strategic planning process. If you are responsible for leading the strategic planning process at your organization, dive in and tweak your process to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.

The Best Time to Engage Your Audience in Collaborative Strategic Planning

BrainZooming

Talking with one city’s representatives about strategies to sell-in a broadband recommendation with voters, they asked whether it is okay to engage its citizens after city leadership develops a recommendation. Engage your audience in collaborative strategic planning earlier than later. If you engage your audience early in the collaborative strategic planning process, you can make a legitimate claim to creating a collaborative vision.

12 Resources to Lead a Strategic Planning Process When You’re New

BrainZooming

Someone downloaded a free Brainzooming strategy eBook, noting his biggest strategy challenge is “how to do a strategic planning process when you are new.” ” That question relates to something we do all the time: walk into a new client in an unfamiliar industry to design and facilitate a strategic planning process. Secure copies of previous plans and strategy documents, and don’t settle for the first things people offer you.

Strategic Visioning Exercises – 14 Articles for Creating a Vision Statement

BrainZooming

The search term “strategic visioning exercises” has been consistently near the top recently for what has bringing people to the Brainzooming website. 14 Articles on Strategic Visioning Exercises. And by done well, we mean that the vision statement: Is developed broadly and collaboratively. These fourteen articles recap our thinking and recommendations across these three areas. Collaborating on a Vision Statement. 5 Questions for Creating a Collaborative Vision.

Leadership Skills – 8 Ways to Fake It Until You Make It

BrainZooming

Jot down your initial ideas on the direction you think the meeting / initiative should go and introduce them at an opportune time. Creating Strategic Impact” Leaders are looking for powerful ways to engage strong collaborators to shape shared visions. They need strategic thinkers who can develop strategy and turn it into results. Increase focus for your team with productive strategy questions everyone can use.

Strategic Objectives – 3 Questions to Decide What’s Strategic

BrainZooming

We are working with a client to develop a content marketing strategy for multiple business units in the organization. The first step was for our client to talk with the presidents of the various business units to understand their strategic objectives. With that information, we will be in a strong position to identify a content marketing strategy specific to each business unit’s needs. In Search of Strategic Objectives. What are Strategic Objectives?

Creative Thinking Skills – 9 Fundamentals to Turn Talk into Strategy

BrainZooming

The challenge in a client meeting was developing the strategy for a later meeting intended to build support for a biennial community event. The team leader asked, “How is it possible to listen to us talk and turn it into a strategy so quickly?”. 9 Creative Thinking Skills to Turn Talk into Strategy. Tie the comments to a structure that’s familiar , already sold in, popular with many people, or classically strategic.

Abruptly Halting the Cluster F%@k of Business Meetings

BrainZooming

The thing is, there’s a different way to structure business meetings to help a group come together and collaborate in an innovative, productive way. We create these types of radically different (and beneficial) business meetings for clients , in large part, by bringing together the right people in the right settings with the right structure to allow them to be productive and successful participants. Actively engage more employees in strategy AND implementation success.

Employee Engagement Strategies – Pigs, Chickens, and What Great Leaders Do

BrainZooming

The thing is, unsuccessful employee engagement strategies are not an employee problem. It is a LEADERSHIP problem when purported employee engagement strategies are not working. We see great leaders among our clients successfully taking steps that meaningfully involve employees in shaping strategy and implementation. If you want to go deeper on a viable strategy to improve employee engagement, download our Results eBook.

7 Organizational Harmony Principles from Dayton Moore

BrainZooming

10 Keys to Engaging Employees to Improve Strategic Results. Creating Strategic Impact” Leaders need high-impact ways to develop employees that can provide input into strategic planning and then turn it into results. This Brainzooming mini-book, “Results – Creating Strategic Impact” unveils ten proven lessons leaders can use to boost collaboration, meaningful strategic conversations, and results.

 4 Ways to Make a Strategic Planning Process Productive

BrainZooming

People frequently complain about how a strategic planning process, whether accidentally or on purpose, is disconnected from employees’ regular duties and priorities. Too often, employees see strategic planning exercises as separate from and unrelated to what they need to do to run a business. With this view, the natural reaction is to avoid the strategic planning process or hope it goes away soon, so someone can return to daily activities full time and get work done.

5 Keys to Engaging Employees in Innovation Strategy – Our Buy-In Manifesto

BrainZooming

Reviewing the innovation strategy challenges business executives identified when downloading Brainzooming eBooks , they frequently mention gaining “buy-in” for significant change initiatives. There are so many ways to botch involving employees (and community members, if that’s your audience) in developing and successfully implementing an innovation strategy. Here are five keys we’ve found for successfully engaging employees in innovation strategy.

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Strategic Planning Exercises – 6 Ways to Organize Lists of Ideas

BrainZooming

We have been working with a client that had done a lot of strategic planning exercises about a new initiative. Because of this, the list was worthless for doing what I suspect everyone hoped it would do: provide a starting point for the strategic thinking needed to back into a definition of and explanation for what the new initiative would turn out to be. 6 Ways to Organize Ideas from Strategic Planning Exercises.

Strategic Planning Exercises – Two Types of Structure, One Works

BrainZooming

There are a couple of different ways to apply structure to strategic planning exercises : You can enforce using templates and forms participants have to complete so their answers are uniformed and structured. You can provide people with strategic thinking exercises, creative thinking tools, strategy questions, and ways to collaborate with one another, using structure to help imagine better strategies.

5 Employee Engagement Ideas When Turnover Is High

BrainZooming

I debuted a presentation on “Results – Creating Strategic Impact,” our mini-book on employee engagement ideas to boost an organization’s strategic thinking. The mini-book focuses on the tremendous value when an organization finds ways to strategically solicit employee insights and perspectives to shape its strategic thinking. 10 Employee Engagement Ideas to Improve Strategic Results.

Branding Strategy – The Best Brand Promise EVER

BrainZooming

Great branding strategy examples abound. “If you can think it, we can make it.” ” I don’t know if Kris and Kate’s Ice Cream Treats thinks about this as a brand promise, a slogan, or something else. If your organization specializes in one particular area, your branding strategy discussions should include the question: “If our customers can think it, can we make it?”

11 Boring Details for Making Strategic Planning Fun*

BrainZooming

Many people visit the Brainzooming website looking for ideas on making strategic planning fun. I’m a strategic planning guy, and even I don’t enjoy strategic planning the way it is typically handled for groups. Part of making strategic planning fun involves fun exercises , which we continue to create and share here. A big part of making strategic planning fun, however, involves focusing on boring details that create a fun* experience.

5 Keys to Streamlining Strategic Planning

BrainZooming

Following our post on the tenth anniversary of the Brainzooming strategic planning methodology , the guys at Armada Corporate Intelligence , who were an important part of developing and testing the process, wrote a companion article. They highlighted 5 keys to streamlining strategic planning based on how we implemented the Brainzooming process as a contrast to traditional (and slow) strategic planning techniques. 5 Keys to Streamlining Strategic Planning.

9 Ideas on How to Involve a Team in Group Strategy Exercises

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Whenever possible, we try to help clients select a mix of people to participate in group strategy exercises. We are also proponents for reaching beyond familiar people that are always involved strategic planning meetings and drive the outcomes of group strategy exercises. 9 Ideas on How to Involve a Team in Group Strategy Exercises. Turn strategy into a game and let the team assign roles to specific team members.

Trying Abundance as a Turnaround Branding Strategy

BrainZooming

With a strong brand and a robust branding strategy , there are many ways to deliver valuable brand benefits to customers. If, however, usage is declining for one of the best ways your brand delivers customer benefits, should your turnaround branding strategy focus on cutting back in providing it? What Turnaround Branding Strategy Is Best? Which leads to asking, “How do they think it will ever increase in demand again when it is hardly made available?”

When Is the Right Time for Brainstorming in Strategic Planning?

BrainZooming

When is the right time for brainstorming in strategic planning , or really any other type of planning for that matter? Brainstorming CAN make sense throughout a strategic planning process. The Right Time for Brainstorming in Strategic Planning. The way we look at it, brainstorming – or whatever you want to call trying come up with new ideas – is typically, give or take, the third step in any phase of a strategic planning process.