bookmark_borderLiving Strategy

Reinventing Your Business, then your organization

Every organization evolves. The Living Strategy process makes the ongoing evolution conscious to decision makers in a strategy retreat of 2-4 days. Retreat participants express their own purpose, sense into the perspectives of relevant stakeholders, (re-)design the organization’s products, services, pricing and distribution models, and reinvent their organization’s business processes and structures. 

The retreat concludes with a practical and realistic development plan for the organization to grow into its next stage.

We recommend such retreats as an annual practice in Next Stage Organizations.

Why?

Needs

Find a trusted and experienced team of guides through the heavy seas in VUCA. 

Be agile in adapting any aspect of our organization.

Take choices and decisions from wholeness – a variety of contexts and perspectives count.

Include all leaders or decision makers into the process of discerning and deciding.

Purpose

Everything is in constant flux. We’re perhaps already used to the permanent financial crisis, the shortage of skilled workers or political unrest in our country. And then our key product is being offered by a well-funded start-up with a new business model at half our cost… We need to make a short break and share the views we hold of our surround and how we as organization are doing. At least once a year. And then swiftly act on what we find.

What?

Inputs

The team that leads your (part of) the organization.
A team of nxtstg.org Living Strategy facilitators.
A 30 min interview with each member of your team.
4 (online) meetings to prepare the retreat.
2-4 days in a retreat.
A meeting to revisit the results together two weeks after the retreat.

Outputs

Clarity and refreshed insights on all aspects of your living strategy:
The purpose that brings you together.
The drivers that move your most important stakeholders.
How you can move them.
Which services, products and other actions you redesign or prioritize in the coming year.
How your business model generates the right experience with each of your important stakeholders.
How your organization (structures and processes) serve best your (renewed) business model.
How you create all the adaptations and changes in your teams and organization.
= Your living strategy for the coming months and year.

How?

the Living Strategy Lab step by step

A Living Strategy retreat will update your leadership with its relationships to the organisation, your customer base, investors and other stakeholders. Hence we take time with you to prepare the setting, timing, budget, your most important questions at this stage, who will be the person(s) in your organisation to lead this from inside and any other important aspect. We will meet with the people that are the ultimate decision makers for the level of strategy we will explore and agree all fundamentals.

The stage is set. Timing and place for the retreat are approaching. We meet with every one who will take part for a short meeting of around 30 minutes and see what is important for each of them. It’s a free flowing interview, we want to understand who every one is in this context, and what you are looking for.

Once the leadership team comes together, the first common step is to hear from every one how they come into this team at this time. What are the drivers for each in the team to make this common venture happen? We listen to your stories and point to the common ground from which you work, and notice the variations from it that come through the various inputs from the team as potentials for differentiation.

This phase makes the crucial difference. Not only to map your stakeholders, it’s slipping into their skin. See the world with their eyes. What is most important to them? And what is important in contexts beyond the closely related ones?
From this exploration we identify the fine lines that connect across the many contexts and world views. These lines is what gives orientation and builds a world guide to revisit your business orientation and models.

The series of stakeholder exchanges led to identifying the relationships between and behind various groups and contexts. The system behind the apparent system has become visible. 

This clears the way for the strategy team to know which niche is out there for you. In this you now (re-)design a portfolio of products, services, partnerships and interventions that together generates impact and effects that translate your purpose into reality. 

You look both at your existing offers and to potential new offers. 

You design a business model for each product. What are the most effective ways of marketing and distributing it? What activities does it take for your teams and your partners or consumers to produce, sell, ship and use it? What pricing within your customers budget translates your value proposition well? What actually is the value of this product for each of your customer segments?

As you answer those questions for each product you notice recurrent patterns for many if not all of them. Those generalized patterns will become your default model around which you design and develop your organisation with its processes and structures.

The purpose of your practical organisation is simply to serve your (new) business model. How will the most simple and robust set of processes look like to produce the services, products, deliveries and outcomes towards your field of stakeholders? What structure will contain and guide these processes? What type of success stories will people tell once this organisation is fully up and running?

Not every thing is needed to be big and fully developed at this stage. How can the smallest full implementation of the new organisation look like? How to concentrate resources into the new models? 
Where and how do you recruit the team(s) to get this all started soon and well?

Once the plans are set, we only know that reality will have its own dynamic. What are the agreements for reviewing what will happen? Which infrastructure for learning and ongoing discovery will make the realisation of the plans a joyful and fast exploit? 
What companionship and learning partnership will help you navigate through the unknown waters?

Sources

The Living Strategy Lab has many sources. Rainer von Leoprechting learned the approach of living strategy making with Dr Michael Schindl and Olaf Rughase when they developed a stakeholder-based multipolar strategy workshop for the European Commission. Rainer successfully used that model for many years, blending in participatory facilitation (the Art of Hosting) and systemic representations. Jackie Thoms joined up and brought insights from her wide experience with corporate business and her exposure to Warm Data.
Nora Bateson’s Warm Data Lab gave fresh inspirations for the field research and listening the transcontextual lines pointing to the drivers that shape whole system relationships. Focusing on these drivers makes social interventions, product or service offers and communications impactful and light to execute.

Jackie Thoms

Dr Olaf Rughase Dr Michael Schindl

Nora Bateson Warm Data

bookmark_borderDevelopmental Assessments

Developmental assessments

Measuring performance potential. Matching people to their broadest range and scope of responsibility. Developmental assessments equip you with a precise insight into capabilities for now and the next stage emerging in a person.

Why?

Needs

Are we hiring the right person for a critical position?
Do I fit a board member role?
What shall I do to balance the various requirements of my work and at home?
These are just a few questions, where knowing where you are developmentally is of enormous value. You can avoid hiring people that will be overwhelmed by the work, individuals learn where to focus in their career, and teams can come together with the needed width and depth of capabilities. 

Purpose

For HR: Developmental assessments support selections for hiring, coaching, talent and career development, especially for leadership and other critical roles in your organization.

Coaches: Any major decision can be put in the larger context of where your clients are in their journey to practical wisdom.

At work: Focus on what makes you grow.

What?

Context

Humans develop. Over our lifetime we unfold our capacity, in all dimensions of life and work. This unfolding has specific structures, which can be observed in the way we make meaning and sense of our world.

Skilled observers can give you or other interested parties feedback on where you stand in your journey. In other words: What you are capable of in decision-making or carrying professional responsibilities? Clarifying what scope of work is the best stretch for individuals is the main reason for assessing development. Once people work at this level throughout an organisation, it creates a highly learning and productive workplace.

We use Otto Laske’s Constructive Developmental Framework: the most developed and precise measure of adult development researched so far.

The price for a complete assessment is 1 990,00 €. A programme discount applies if you book 10 or more assessments in a month.

Special conditions can be granted for NGOs or political parties. Contact Rainer von Leoprechting about this at rainer(a)nxtstg.org.

Inputs

The persons requesting the assessment agree on including this into their selection, coaching or other developmental process.

We assign a team of interviewers and scorers to serve  all parties.

Interviews and feedback are conducted orally. The meetings can be online or face-to-face. 

They are recorded. The record is kept for analysis and scientific research. Personal data is destroyed once the assessment process is completed and accepted by the client.

Outputs

The analysis of the text in the assessment interviews shows:

a. How the person thinks and makes sense of their world.
We observe the variety of Thought Forms the person uses spontaneously during the interview. This degree of variety expresses the capacity of thinking and to what extent the person handles complexity in their mind.

b. How the person takes decisions and actions, and for whom.
We observe who the subject of actions and decisions of the person is, how such decision or action processes occur and what seems meaningful for the person. This expresses the degree, at which the person takes responsibility, and to what extent s(he) has potential to take more responsibility in life or work.

How?

After agreeing on the conduct of an assessment, we schedule two conversations of 45-60 minutes duration with the person(s) to be assessed.

The two conversations are open interviews on the person’s work and their understanding of their life at this stage.

The two sessions are recorded. The recordings are scored against two lines of development by two trained and certified experts, or the actual coach and one certified expert.

The team shares their findings with all persons that have been agreed to receive them. Coaches or recruiters will receive insights about the person’s capabilities, risks and current potential.
The persons themselves will receive feedback about the same in the context of their current situation. Coaches will use the developmental information for their coaching planning and methods with the client. We prefer the coach to use the developmental feedback and share it with the client over the coaching process.

Sources

Rainer von Leoprechting is a certified expert and developmental teacher trained by Otto Laske. He translated Otto’s book “Measuring Hidden Dimensions” into German and has led numerous workshops on development and the emerging new era in the profession of Human Resources to include and measure the current potential of people. He leads a certification programme for new developmental consultants, coaches or Human Resources experts to learn the practice of developmental assessments.

bookmark_borderNext Stage Catalyst

Next Stage Catalyst

Catalyzing the impact of an organizational change project by combining the best aspects of agile project management, strategic assessment tools and the celebration part of Dragon Dreaming.

Why?

Needs

A lot of change projects are getting stuck in the daily business. Mostly they start with a great kick off workshop but shortly after they lose momentum. Daily business is taking over and there is no space anymore for the needed change to happen.

There is a need to hold that space and to give the whole change initiative a rhythm to get and keep things going.

Purpose

Holding the space for a change initiative to unfold and to have an impact on the organization. Providing a rhythm of retrospection. Motivating commitment and employee engagement by regular plannings and always keep on learning by strategic assessments. Celebrating the outcomes and failures to learn and grow together.

What?

Context

The Next Stage Catalyst is ideal to support every type of change project, especially the ones that got stuck. It is well suited for teams working remote or on site and needing support to get things going from outside.

Input

To get this format up a running, the following things are required:

  • a clear vision, dream or goal for the project / initiative (if not present check out Next Stage Dreaming)
  • commitment of the team to spend around 7,5 days in meetings over the course of 48 weeks

Output

Based on the external support you can expect:

  • higher commitment and continues progress through the plannings
  • better end results based on the strategic assessments
  • higher motivation based on the reviews and celebrations

How?

The Sprint Logic

At first, it starts with an on site Review, Retro, Planning (RRP) to initiate the first sprint. After every sprint there is another RRP and additionally a Strategic Assessment workshop after sprint 3.

These workshops can be done remotely.

These three sprints are working like the first three, with the difference that after sprint 6 there is an on site day with the RRP, a Strategic Assessment and a Celebration.

These 3 sprints are working exactly the same way as Sprint  1 – 3.

These three sprints are working exactly like sprints 4 – 6.

Included Workshop Types

Process Diagram

This workshop follows the basic elements you can find in the agile development method Scrum.

Review

In the review everybody presents what she or he has accomplished in the past sprint. Everybody is getting feedback for their work. It is an ideal point in time to include stakeholders.

Retro

The retro or retrospective is a time to answer the questions “What went well?” and “What can we do differently?” with the goal to identify action items to improve the collaboration in the project or initiative.

Planning

At the end of the planning the team will have a commitment for the upcoming sprint. Based on the availability and capacities of the team stories are selected together and are added to the new sprint backlog.

The strategic assessment is a workshop format to check whether the current direction of the project / initiative is still the right one and to make course correction.

It starts with bringing to mind the current adventures / missions. Then we see together what has changed in the last 12 weeks and finally we can make changes.

The celebration is a party to value what the project members has achieved so far. It is about the individual stories behind the progress and sharing it. This will be done with involving the different aspects of our beeing like the voice, the body and the mind. With this we create a stronger connections between all members and boost motivation.

We use different methods and appraoches to capture the spirit of the team chosen by the culture of the people we work with.

Sources

This product is inspired by the following  methods

Get in Touch - Contact Us

You got interested and you want to know more?

We love to talk to you to learn where you or your organization is at and what challenges it is facing. So if you’d like to have an open dialog and you want to see what we as a platform can do to support you, write us a message.

bookmark_borderNext Stage Dreaming

Next Stage Dreaming

Unfolding the deepest inner needs of the people in an organization to crystallize a common dream and vision as the starting or restarting point for a change and organizational development project in a one-day workshop.

Why?

Needs

Mostly change projects are driven by a small group of people enthusiastic about the new structure, methodology or whatever the change is about. The change is thereby pushed into the organization and on to the people without engage the employees into the whole process. This makes it hard to harvest the collective wisdom in the org and it pushes people instead of attracting them.

In order to engage people it is needed to make space for their inner needs and their own dream where the organization should evolve to. To stay focused these dreams has to be crystallized down to the areas most needed for all and put into a plan that can be executed afterwards.

Purpose

Making space for all inner needs and dreams people in a project or organization have, to honor them and to learn from them. Having a common set of areas the organization will focus on and a feasible plan to do so. Generating a lot of motivation and buy-in.

What?

Context

This workshop is most useful in organizations and projects who are just starting or got stuck and have the need to be revived.

Input

In order to make this workshop happens it needs:

  • around 7 participants (can be more if needed)
    • from different management levels
    • from different departments
    • as divers as possible
  • a space to make it happen
  • pawns for every participant

Output

The following deliverable will be produced:

  • clustered map with needed aspects of the organization
  • project plan with commitment by the participants (in the form of a Karrabirrt from Dragon Dreaming)
  • optional: drawing by a graphic recorder to manifest the dream

How?

The initiator invites all persons by answering the following question:

Who is needed in order to get the most complete input for our dream from as many parts as possible of the organization?

Short briefing of the initiator to prepare him or herself for being a dream giver.

Sharing the history of the organization. Making space for roles and ranks of the participants, to prepare them to let go of them.

Taking the perspective of the others in relationship to my own. Where am I and where are the others? How is it to be one of the others?

Initiator is sharing her or his dream. All others are adding their dreams to it. 100% no compromise!

Clustering the dreams to identify common aspects and develop a common dream. Prioritizing and selecting aspects that are most needed.

Defining SMART goals based on the selected aspects and identify adventures (tasks) to reach them. Getting commitment for adventures by participants to follow up after the workshop.

Delivering all taken photos, audios and videos (the harvest). Dialog about if further assistance is needed.

Sources

This product is inspired by the following  methods

Get in Touch - Contact Us

You got interested and you want to know more?

We love to talk to you to learn where you or your organization is at and what challenges it is facing. So if you’d like to have an open dialog and you want to see what we as a platform can do to support you, write us a message.