Don’t poke at problems with a broom, use a lance!
If yours is like many worldwide teams, they may be dispersed, come together seldom and when faced with problems, they waste a lot of time and energy. Take a visual approach next time and graduate to a new level of performance.
WHY SOLID IDEAS, NOT REVOLUTIONARY ONES?
Revolutionary, highly creative, out of the box ideas can have holes in them that can lead your organization to make important mistakes. Great new ideas must be tested from many pragmatic perspectives before they can be considered “solid” and lead to real innovation.
Without you having to be conscious of it, Metaphor Mapping workshops ensure you apply creative and critical thinking techniques as developed by Edward de Bono(Lateral Thinking), Peter Senge(The Fifth Discipline), Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow, the Metaphor Language Research Center and others, including:
- Share mental models visually, so preconceptions become clear and arguments diminish
- Loosen rigid thought patterns by arranging information about the situation differently
- Apply end-to-end, systems thinking, drawing from the perspectives of all participants
- Avoid thinking traps such as anchoring, priming, the ‘halo’ effect, cognitive illusions and ‘group think’
- Apply metaphors and symbols to engage intuition and provoke new perspectives on opportunities and vulnerabilities
- Test intuition with data and facts
- Reach shared views of reality, future vision and plan
Resilience can be built by translational leaders
In his 2012 book Resilience, Andrew Zolli states that strong communities that have proven resilient to crises, “we almost always found a very particular species of leader is almost always found at or near its core.” The translational leaders Zolli found in his research could connect people from various different groups, and translate objectives, perspectives and knowledge. This results in networks that can overcome differences, make and implement good decisions for their communities.
Metaphor Mapping is a logical part of a translational leader’s toolkit. It brings people together to share views and, thought conversation, build understanding and find common ground. It is further useful to help leaders discuss the structure and operation of adaptive styles of governance for dealing with ad-hoc and crisis situations when it is not clear which organization is in charge.
You have the option of gamifying your Metaphor Mapping workshop.
At the outset of the Village Mapping visioning session, introduce the four competitive aspects of the game by describing these four symbols.
After small groups have built maps and reviewed, the full group decides which group contributed the most in each category and makes the award. Each individual who contributed receives the related sticker and a gift decided by the workshop organizer.
Let’s say you successfully created the perfect strategic plan. How do you make it a reality? Here are some suggestions made by Ray Gagnon an expert in strategic planning in a recent Huffington post article.
“Create the Business Case” – In order for your employees to understand why a change is necessary, especially if jobs or the company is in danger, leadership must be transparent. They must clearly explain why the change is needed. It does not matter if the reason is loss of market share, a poor financial decision, or a change in the direction of the business itself. Once the purpose for the change is understood, your faithful employees will be more willing to assist in making change.
“Clarify and Communicate the New Way” – Now that everyone understands why changes are necessary. They need to know what the new path is. This is difficult to explain alone, and …
No doubt several key leaders were involved in hatching your new strategic plan in the first place. Exploit and enlist this key network of early adopters and ensure that they fan out across your company and ‘spread the gospel’ of the new way just as you are. If necessary, make changes in key organizational positions that are critical to the new plan.
“Enlist Your Core Team” – The best way to disseminate this information make a list of key people in your firm and allocate divisions of the company to each key person. Call a meeting to discuss the new strategic plan, and ask if everyone understands the new direction the company is headed. Answer questions honestly. After the plan is clarified and understood by all in the meeting, explain that each individual in responsible for clarifying and communicating the new strategic plan to a set number of people or department(s). Now is a good time to suggest techniques or to discuss ways to reach out to the employees and communicate.
“Mobilize Commitment” – As your core team shares the new strategic plan with the company as a whole, ask them to make mental notes of individuals in your company who are experts at their job, and willing to assist in creating a shared vision. Enlist these individuals in creating a shared vision.
Don’t forget your team can use Metaphor Mapping to define what the new strategy means to the operations of your company. It’s an ideal tool to cascade workshops, bringing ever more people into understanding what the strategy and vision mean to them as they implement the changes. Contact us if you’d like to discuss.