Thinking strategically & critically seeing possibilities

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  • 1. Thinking Strategically & Critically:Seeing PossibilitiesJane Dysart jane@dysartjones.comRebecca Jones

2. Focus for today Viewing situations & solutions strategically 3. Seeing PossibilitiesSeeing Differently Adjusting Views 4. Lets explore: What strategic & critical thinking is Why its important for our decision-making, problem-solving & designing solutions Identifying & avoiding traps, trips & landmines that foilour decision-making..maybe even disarming them? Experiences Characteristics required 5. Our agenda8:00 What IS strategic thinking?You, the pre-work & concepts9:30 Break9:45 Practical Techniques10:15 Voice of experience:Donna Scheeder, Deputy CIO, CRS10:45 Try these out11:30 Individual action plans11:45 Sources to explore12:00 Close 6. in making decisions, you may be at the mercy of your minds strange workings.Hammond, Keeney & Raiffa, The Hidden Traps in Decision Making, Harvard Business Review, January 2006 7. The whole purpose of thinking strategically isto take steps, real tasks, that are strategic thatarent just to put out a fire today but that willensure sustainability & success over the next 2-3 years hopefully over the next 5 years. 8. Risk? Ill show you risk..its too risky to NOT be different in this economy Stephen Abram, March 22, 2011 Its too risky to NOT think NOTquestion our assumptionsto NOT designour futures 9. Strategic Thinking 10. Critical Thinking: formal definition the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.Critical Thinking as Defined by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform,Summer 1987}. Last accessed May 31, 2009 11. Critical thinking is really about Decision-making & problem-solving Openmindedness Productive dialogue 12. Good Strategic & Critical Thinking Raises the right questions clearly & precisely Focuses on the real problem or decision to be taken Gathers & assesses relevant information Uses abstract ideas to interpret info effectively Develops well-reasoned conclusions & solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards Relies on recognizing & assessing assumptions, implications, & consequences Communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems 13. Critical, not criticize 14. Critical optimism is a responsibilityLibrary Boards & staff when planning cannot be, bydefinition, pessimists. It just doesnt go with the job.Were supposed to be defining the future, arent we? [...]If we cant see the world as a better place to live in, thanwhat chance does anyone else have?History tells us that before great library can happen, itfirst has to be a mission. And a mission starts with adream. As library employees & advocates, we potentiallyhold enormous power. And with it comes responsibility.Wield it imaginatively and wisely. And optimistically. Richard Seymour, Optimistic Futurism in Interactions May-June 2008 15. Strategic thinking is about: Openness, flexibility, adaptability Articulating the goal Clarifying assumptions Questioning status quo Facts Focusing on the future 16. Why? For our customers Designing meaningful services For our organizations Planning, negotiating, managing & relationship building For ourselves, and our professional credibility Aware & factor in our : tendencies & assumptions perceptions & selections based on conditioning, beliefs and desires, focus, emotions reconstructive memory affected by time, what we want to remember, and after-acquired information and suggestion Confident in our: knowledge ability to reason 17. Wake up callSet in our ways wont move us forwardNaming the process at first makes it legitimate to: Challenge usual practices Rethink what has been thought Expand the emphasis from short-term fixes to long-term fusion 18. Common Decision Traps Framing Status quo Anchoring Sunk cost fallacy Information gathering traps Overconfidence bias Availability Confirmation bias Generalization False cause Based on the work of Michael B. Metzger, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University 19. Clarifying assumptions Your assumptions form yourframe through which yousee the situation The questions we ask very oftendetermine the type of answerswe getSo.. Dont accept the first frame orquestion re-frame or look at the issue fromdifferent perspectives, particularlyfrom customer or stakeholderperspectives 20. Questioning Status-quo Like it or not, tendency is toperpetuate what we alreadyknow Psychologically risky breaking from the statusquo means taking action, So.and when we take action,we take responsibility, thus Focus on the goal & ask howopening ourselves to status quo helps movecriticism and to regret.towards them Hammond, Keeney, Evaluate vs. all other Raiffaalternatives IN TERMS OF THE FUTURE Ask outsiders to review yourevaluationsKennedy & Jones, 2009 21. Anchoring What we hear or see firstinfluences our subsequentthinkingTo avoid: Past statistics & trends, an Be aware article, a colleagues comment Purposefully use different starting The order in which wepoints receive info distorts our As you gather other people to judgmentdiscuss the issue, try to limit theinformation you give them Clarity what each of your base assumptions are Keep coming back to the issue on which you are focusing Kennedy & Jones, 2009 22. When you find yourself in a hole, thebest thing you can do is stop digging. Warren Buffet 23. Divest to Invest 24. Factsif you lack realism today, you may lackcredibility tomorrowJohn Maxwell, Leadership Gold, 2010 25. Focusing on the futureStand in the future 26. Beyond Strategic Thinking Jeanne Liedtka, Darden School of Business,University of Virginia, Rotman Magazine Winter 2011 p. 29+ (author ofDesigning for Growth, 2011) 27. Impaired Vision? Different Views Staff Vision 28. Everyone puts the blocksof action together & seeshow their work fits 29. For a group to get to clarity theyhave to wade through confusion 30. Hello Confusion? This is conflict speaking 31. 33Know your own conflict handling styleThomas-KilmannConflict Mode InstrumentCompeting CollaboratingAssertivenessCompromising AvoidingAccommodating Mary Lee Kennedy Harvard UniversityCooperativeness 32. Seeing Opportunities:A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty Winston ChurchillGaps/Openings = Opportunities 33. Strategic thinking Take a wide scope Ask the right questions Scan actively in different places Pay attention to signals Explore for more info Decide Act 34. Peripheral Vision: Seven Steps to Seeing Business Opportunities Sooner. George S. Day & Paul J. H. Schoemaker, Harvard Business School Press, 2006Process for building "vigilant organizations" that are constantlyattuned to changes in the environment1st 5 steps focus on directly improving the process of receiving, interpreting and acting on weak signals from the periphery Scoping: Scanning:Acting: on Interpreting: Probing:limiting wherewiththedatas meaningsome datato look intention insights 35. Sources of Ideas Examine your own skill set Keep up with current events Invent a new product or service Add value to or improve an existing product Investigate other marketsGet on the bandwagon 36. Lets try it out: First 10 minutes on your own Prepare your decision approach for either Case 1 or Case 2 Next 10 minutes with your colleague or someone beside you Talk through your plan or approach with each other Advise each other on critical thinking delivery (good practice/decision traps) Next 10 minutes discussing our experiences Challenges, affirmations, ah has! 37. Group ExercisesCase one:Case two: Your budget will be 10% less You have an idea for a newfor the next financial year. service you believe clients will 80% of your current budget isvalue. There isnt any morestaff, 15% is content, the other funding available and staff are5% is for variousworking at capacity.administrative costs (travel,training, phones, supplies). Put together an approach for Put together a plan for makingmaking the decision of how tothe case to proceed with thework within this budget. service. 38. Case one:Your budget will be 10% less for the next financial year. 80% of your current budget is staff, 15% is content, the other 5% is for various administrative costs (travel, training, phones, supplies). Put together an approach for making the decision of how to work within this budget. 39. Case two:You have an idea for a new service you believe clients will value. There isnt any more funding available and staff are working at capacity. Put together a plan for making the case to proceed with the service. 40. In your partner discussions, What surprised you when you had to think aboutcritical thinking practices and avoiding decision-makingtraps? What challenges do you recognize youll have using thisapproach? What will you do differently in making decisions? What more do you want to know so that you can do thisbetter? How will you apply this starting now? 41. Skills & Attitudes Communication skills Listener Self-awareness & self-acceptance Ability to assess & evaluateinformation & propositions fortheir value on the issue at hand Curiosity, interest &