Strategic Thinking: The Superpower You Are Not Using
Strategic thinking is not only the responsibility of political leaders and large organization; it is also the responsibility of CEOs and business leaders. And we not only tell you to do it: we show you how to.
History is dotted with examples where the best technology solution did not succeed. Europe needs to master technologies, digitization, but it also needs to master strategic thinking. On one hand, the EU is responsible for the strategic thinking at the political level to help create the political, legal, regulatory, and economical environments within which we can work, compete, and succeed. On the other hand, small and medium enterprises need to apply strategic thinking as well, to be able to compete with the other enterprises at the global level. Only when SMEs are solid, are they capable of contributing to the success of the European project.
It is in this context that we are sharing Mission Control with you, with the intent that you, as leaders can use this approach in order to succeed and flourish.
Strategic Thinking in Real Time
The moon landing, likely far more complex and complicated than our organizations, had no guarantee that it would succeed. Using a mission control center to analyze, plan, execute, see, track, understand, and react appropriately during the entire mission made a critical contribution to the ultimate success.
Strategic thinking and decision-making require that you connect your products and services, customers, markets, business models, competition, emerging trends, plans, roadmaps, your team, and capabilities. Not only that, but you must also keep a close eye and be ready and able to react thoughtfully and deliberately when the next unexpected event happens!
You too can do this – it is neither rocket science nor voodoo.
With Mission Control, we guide you through setting up your own mission control center, bringing together world-best tools in a comprehensive, visual, immersive, and intuitive manner. The good news is that you are likely using a number of these tools already.
The implementation of Mission Control is very practical. Imagine using four white boards, each one representing one aspect of your organisation: vision and progress, blueprint and landscape, create customer and build team.
The Vision and Progress board should be your North Star. It provides the context for everything you are doing and guides your decisions.
The Blueprint and Landscape board should contain visualizations of the Business Blueprint in the shape of the business model navigator and canvas. The third board, Create Customer, helps you understand your customers, your products, value propositions, and markets.
Last but not least, the Build Team board is where you will look more in detail at the people, processes, technologies, and information through the lenses of value streams and business capabilities. Having all this information visible to you and your team helps to dissolve the silos in your organization and create one team working together towards a common goal, turning your vision into reality.
Setting it up
As mentioned before, setting up the framework is simple. Once the foundations of your business are laid out, it is time to bring together the tools already in use and place it on the Mission Control views.
We have yet to come across an organization where less than 50% of the tools are being used. This allows you to bring your existing work together right away. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Of course, if you are using tools that are different, but deliver the same insights – by all means, use that!
The information is often in people’s heads, and the tools make it easy to make it visible, share, and refine the information. One of the secret powers of the visible mission is that it makes a lot of invisible knowledge visible.
Start Using it
Mission Control does not have to be complete for you to start using it. On the contrary – the Mission Control is an active process. If you have plans and goals, ideally clearly connected, then you should start monitoring, and tracking the work and the results together with your team. This monitoring enables you to see what is happening, which in turn enables you to place the information in a larger context. This context then allows you to react thoughtfully and deliberately. Active Plans By using Mission Control as the backbone of your work, you will be able to create much better, and more effective insights to your planning. It will also help you to do both a top-down and bottom-up approach – this allows the leadership team to define challenging goals, but also build on the reality-check feedback from your front-line team members. Conclusion This approach will give you a comprehensive, and robust way to significantly increase your chances of success. It brings together the best business management tools available, making the knowledge and insights from you and your team members available to everyone else. The common goals will foster teamwork and give your team the opportunity to dissolve walls that might have unintentionally formed throughout the organization. As you have seen, the visible mission brings together strategy and execution, and business and “technology” as naturally as the double helix from DNA. When this happens, it should form the genetic material for a healthy, adaptive, “solid” organization. To understand more what Mission Control is about, check out the book “The Visible Mission”, which was written specifically for leaders. It is light on theory, and heavy on practical implementation and delivering value. It describes the approach above in detail, and very practical, pragmatic terms.