The creative side of strategy involving the right side of the brain
If strategy making was a completely rational – logic based – activity, then companies would get it right much more often. The problem is good strategy needs to combine skills from the left ánd the right side of the brain. Or better said the left and right side of many brains. That is why you need divers teams to create great strategies.
Ok, so what are ways to do that?
One part related to brainstorming has been documented by many excellent authors, so I will not repeat that here. But I will tie a few of those techniques to specific parts of the strategy process.
Visual and 3D objects to move the vision creation away from words and numbers
- Selecting from 100 photos what best visualizes the company you want to be
- Using Lego materials for visualizing the company or processes in the company
- (Speed) Drawing support for vision and strategy creation
- Involving total strangers to your business in a few sessions
Gaming techniques to fully emerse in competitor strategies and negociation preparation
- Clothing with logos, branded presentations and materials, unique info per team
- Iterative winning and losing by faciltated processes (can be both qualitative and quantitative)
- Speed drawing during for competitive strategy simulations, videoing participants to deliver messages to ‘ the market’
Emersion methods to experience customer/consumer needs/journeys
- Undercover in shops, warehouses, service centers, logistics, plants, labs, etc …
- Test selling on the street to strangers
- Participative consumer panels
- Speed dating in problem solving
What do my own experiences suggest
I have used all the above mentioned techniques, and every time the results are surprising in content and even more in team engagement. Interestingly enough not only for the participants but also widely around them, spreading through word of mouth and other communications.
On the other hand it is also clear that the results only work if integrated with the number crunching, data gathering, structured problem solving techniques of the left brain.
The more the emotional side is pulled forward the stronger the result. Fitting the right approach to the situation and the people involved needs an experienced and agile facilitator.