imageThe 'slow' movement has been around for a while - slow food started it all I think. It's time to apply 'slow' to strategy. Busy people don't have time to think. They are running, working fast all the time. And  they are so busy being busy that when they are facing change - disruptive or not - they want THE answer provided to them so they can deal with the change and keep on being busy.

They often ask consultants or experts to give them THE answer. Don't ask me to think, I just need THE answer, just what I need to know right now. I'm too busy to think. You think for me.

Of course, people don't say this out loud.

When I do workshops or webinars, they are about the future and its potential implications for strategy today. I ask people to think about the implications of change for their organisation in the future, and to then think about what that might mean for their strategy today. I provide ideas and insights, not answers.

I always make this clear at the beginning - ideas and insights to inform your thinking, not answers. I give you the thinking fodder, you think and identify the answers for your organisation, your context.

And while most people get that, there are always some who get annoyed and say something like "the workshop title was ideas and insights about [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][topic] for [industry]. But you didn't tell me what I need to change in my job today". Of course I didn't.

crystal ball glowingI don't know your job, you do. I don't work in your organisation, you do. Not every change will influence your job and organisation directly and I don't know which ones they will be or the degree of impact they will have, you do. And you want to me tell you THE answer? Sorry, I don't have a crystal ball and I can't think for you.

There are a lot of people who are happy to charge a lot of money and give you THE answer, but my job is to help you think about the future and its implications for today and that takes time.

Enter Slow Strategy. There are no quick fixes, no silver bullets to developing strategy that is futures ready. You can't build good strategy overnight by following a formula or paying lip-service to change. You need to step back, slow down and give yourself time to think - about change, the multitude of options available to you, and implications for your organisational strategy today and into the future.

There are no future facts, there is no data about the future, there is no one right answer about what is going to happen. And there is no single formula for developing a strategy that will identify the 'right' action to take to ensure your organisation is futures ready.

You need to spend time away from being busy to build futures ready strategy.

Slow strategy means looking for change over time, taking the time to explore its nature and identify implications and then developing a strategy that means something for your organisation and your people. Slow strategy doesn't mean strategy will take a year to do and it doesn't mean stopping altogether, but the days of the 60 Minute Strategic Plan are over.

Busy people don't deserve conventional strategy development, they deserve the opportunity to think about the future to inform their decision making today. They deserve the freedom to explore the multitude of options available to them. They  deserve the opportunity to move beyond crisis management and panic mode operations. They deserve the opportunity to move beyond busy, to slow down, to have time to think strategically, to build strategy that takes the future into account.

Thinking about the future takes time. In a world where the pace of change seems to be accelerating every day, it seems counterintuitive to say 'slow down'. Taking the time to think about the future before you make strategic decisions is the only way to ensure you make proactive rather than reactive decisions about change.

Thinking about the future is critical for good strategy development. It's time to slow down and do just that.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

1 Comment