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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.