Topic # 1: Scenario Planning: This “thinking around the corner” meeting helps teams to consider alternative futures, not trying to predict the future, but prepare for a successful response plan no matter what happens, The value of this technique comes from the deep dialogue that the different scenario stories provoke. The alternate views generate new insights about a company and its possible futures. Thinking this way helps prepare the contributors to notice and consider emerging ideas before others even perceive any change.
The goal of this planning strategy is to create an operational planning document that guides company leaders and employees, and improve the executive team’s ability to identify, prioritize, and assign opportunities, and contribute to improved company performance.
This unique combination of topics in our four session meetings includes both Collaboration Skills, and a special treatment of Scenario Planning. As the author and instructor, I am not aware of these topics are currently being paired anywhere else in the world.
Simply and fundamentally, the success of a business depends on what gets done by everyone–both the leaders and the employees. And nothing gets done if decisions aren’t made. Decisions are the stepping-stones to action. And no matter how brilliant a decision may be, it has marginal impact when the leaders and employees don’t support it.
Therefore, success depends on the number of great decisions made and supported by both leaders and employees. Companies depending on only a few decision makers and ho-hum support from their employees cannot compete over the long term. Developing, managing, improving, and leading an effective business means building both great decisions and great support. Productive collaboration does both. Collaboration can become the key business improvement strategy in your organization.
Topic # 2: Collaboration Skills: Collaboration is currently all the buzz. Right along with creativity and innovation, scenario planning, everybody’s talking and writing about it. While it may be a great idea, the challenge, and the enormous business opportunity, is to learn to actually do it, to actually collaborate. And to actually collaborate in a way that it actually a makes a very positive difference to you and your business. Most people think of collaboration as merely gathering people or resources in one place, real or virtual, and then doing work. And doing work in the way they know how, which is often the same way that generated the frustration that encouraged them to collaborate. Don’t settle for thinking that collaboration is just coordinating or assembling data resources or people.
If you and your team are going to attend only one course about collaboration skills, this should be it.
Collaboration can be so much more than just assembling as a team of different thinkers to do work. Done poorly, the results are half-baked ideas sort-of supported by some of the team’s members. Done well, the results are decisions better than anyone expected supported enthusiastically by all of a team’s members.
This masterclass defines collaboration as the willingness and ability of both individuals and teams to build both great decisions AND great buy-in. Few leadership development authors combine these two as a required pair.