All entries by this author

The Building Blocks of Decision

If we care about making a good strategic decision, then we need a capable process to get us there. In my last article, I made the argument that if we try to move normal meeting structures online, we are likely to fail. Partly that’s a product of attention span and inadequacies in online meeting technologies….
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Ride for the Breath of Life 2020

The Ride for the Breath of Life is a charity ride that I have been participating in for more than a decade. This year was to be the fifteenth anniversary of the ride in Edmonton. Given the pandemic, an in-person ride was a complete non-starter. That didn’t stop the ride from happening, and it didn’t keep me from participating.



It’s The Decision, Stupid

In thinking about how to facilitate strategic discussions in a not face-to-face environment, it is easy to treat the exercise as simply translating in-person activities into an online environment. I believe that is a trap. The reality is that even in person we don’t often conduct good meetings, and we rarely leverage the full diversity of the people at the table. For complex and messy we substitute simple and easy. In discussing strategically important questions online, that is a potential recipe for disaster.



Engaging Strategically

Strategic engagement is hard at the best of times. When we have to do it remotely while working through a pandemic, it gets that much more complicated. We often think of online meeting solutions as a poor substitute for communicating in person. Used conventionally, they arguably are. So how can we rethink how we engage in strategic conversations online in a way that makes them work exceptionally well? Some initial thoughts.



Next Webinar: Bullet Points: Mastery or Madness?

Decision-makers in modern organizations commonly demand briefings in the form of bullet points or a series of series of bullet points. That leads to trouble, because the bullet point form isn’t capable of presenting faithful representations of every reality or every logical argument. And the root of the problem lies in the nature of the…
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How Do We Have The Important Conversations?

It is not entirely clear how long it will be before people are comfortable inhabiting meeting rooms again, even for very short and focussed interactions. Which raises some fundamental questions about how we go about having strategically important conversations. Our current reality changes how we facilitate, how we interact and how groups explore, unpack and resolve complex and messy questions. In trying to figure out alternative strategies, there are some fundamental problems that need to be solved.



Where To: Deconstructing The Scenarios

Scenarios are a way to challenge; they call into question viewpoints, they confront ideologies and they prompt broader perspectives. Within that expansive perspective, it is hoped that new opportunities and necessary actions emerge. The scenarios that I presented last week were very much intended to do just that. They reinforce that while we are all in the same storm, we are not in the same boat. The boat that we find ourselves in will define—or curtail—our options. Mobilization, then, is in part making sure that the boat we find ourselves in is sufficiently sturdy, appropriately equipped and up to the task of the voyage that we find ourselves on.



Where To: Contemplating Re-entry

We have all been wrestling with how the pandemic ends. There is so much that we don’t know. There are so many uncertainties and complexities. In the past few articles, I’ve explored various ways that scenarios can help us make sense of the world around us. In this article, I show rather than tell. Four scenarios of possible futures and potential outcomes of how re-entry unfolds.



Where To: Planning For Uncertainty

The future is a challenging place to contemplate. There are many factors that we can’t control, and many circumstances that we can’t influence. Making meaningful choices about an uncertain future often feels overwhelming, impossible and ultimately futile. The articles of the last few weeks have both explicitly and implicitly explored the role of scenarios in considering possible futures. They can be invaluable tools to manage uncertainty and identify meaningful future choices.



Next Webinar: The Foundational Books (Rescheduled)

Every profession—and every discipline—has a set of foundational books that define the essential principles, the guiding philosophies and the essential practices of a given domain. Every person is unique. Each of us is a product of our genes, our formative experiences and the path of evolution we have followed into adulthood. For many of us,…
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