The Only Useful Strategy Is One That's Implemented
We use the word strategy with caution.
The Problem With Strategy - Many people feel strategy is a black art reserved only for a select few. It often feels like it doesn’t include them. This will undermine the chances of a successful result.
The Opportunity For Strategy - For us strategy is the creative and collaborative practice of achieving business goals. And we’re in the business of being objective when it comes to such a practice. The first principle is making sure we hit the right goals, understand what will stop us and equip everyone involved properly at every step.
“A successful strategy is one with a clear vision and an inspired operation that’s prepared for anything…”
Strategy On Purpose
Purpose has taken on a whole new meaning, we believe in businesses that have an ethical and moral intention.
Mission Critical - The mission is a useful place to explain the purpose. Within this we get a chance to define the goals, aims and objectives. It’s obvious that purpose has to evolve as the situation changes. The marketplace changes over time so should the purpose of the business.
Getting Through Change - Perpetual change is difficult for everyone. With all the moving parts coherence is hard. We’ve always relied on tools to help us do the heavy lifting and maintain ongoing stability.
“A strategy that’s survived execution has involved creative minds, objectivity and the tools and techniques that saw it all through…”
The Four Factors That Make Strategies Work
A Practical Appreciation Of The Overall Context And Dynamics A Properly Aligned And Engaged Leadership Team And Workforce The Equipment To Be Thoughtful, Creative, Decisive And Executable The Ownership And Motivation To Shift And Sustain Over Time
Constant Pressure Is The New Normal
You cannot ignore the pressures on business but we have to turn them to our advantage.
Consumer Pressure - Almost every business is now transparent to their consumers through digital The Pressure To Gain Insight - Identifying the correct data from an ocean of information every second of every day to stay in touch The Pressure For Coherence - Get everyone in the business shooting for the same vision and plan across different teams The Pressure For Attention - Create the levels of attention needed to get the best plan in place when there’s no attention left The Pressure To Measure - Know the effects of every investment made and appreciate what, how and where to alter the course The Pressure To Sustain - Staying the course and making micro-decisions when everything around is constantly changing
Making A Difference
Different Rules Demand Different Tools
We created Structured Visual Thinking™ to inspire leadership, unlock creative thinking and ensure sustained working. It gives leaders the frameworks to clarify their thinking, make better decisions and exploit their opportunities. Frameworks are all about structure.
Frameworks are how and why Structured Visual Thinking™ works.
Ten Things About Frameworks
We’ve applied frameworks to both simple and highly sophisticated cases over the last 20 years. And we’ve learned a lot.
Frameworks are powerful because they constrain scope at the same time as unlocking value - whatever the scenario. Each time we apply a framework we create specific constraints each time - frameworks have infinite applications. Frameworks are visual devices which means people can see the things and the spaces between the things. Everything is made tangible - including the intangible. Frameworks make complexity less frightening and more manageable - for everyone. Frameworks show that businesses are systems - for a strategy to work there’s always a golden thread throughout it. Frameworks contain modules and graphically illustrating that shows they’re highly interdependent mechanisms. Frameworks show everyone where there are gaps, where silos exist and at the same time define the boundaries. Frameworks improve the quality of group discussion and remove opinions and overcome semantics - they are made of logic. We create frameworks on a grand scale to embrace the hearts and minds of a team. Visualisation within frameworks accelerates everything and brings every conversation to life.
Frameworks And Modes
We apply frameworks throughout our assignments with clients.
They are applied in different ways and at various stages.
Frameworks drive assessments, they develop contexts and understand systems. They stimulate conversations, drive diagnoses, facilitate critical thinking and align teams. They build operational and business models, inform communications devices and they design sustainable blueprints and plans.
They work hard.
Malcolm Gladwell famously and wrongly stated that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. For one person 20 years is 175,200 hours and we are still learning every day.
Complexity - Every complex question has a simple answer: break it up. This has been our approach to tackling tough challenges ever since we can remember.
Visualisation - Every conversation we’ve ever had with a client has involved the deconstruction of the challenge into its component parts.
At the same time we’ve brought visual structure to the table. Literally drawing out the systems and visions and models before everyone’s eyes.
The effect was always the same - highly powerful.
Critical Thinking - For the first time the team could see all the parts of the challenge emerge and in a far better shape than they could imagine.
It was so powerful that by seeing what they had said they could also see how little value the idea would have in solving the challenge and be inspired to alter and improve their thinking.
Framework Science™ sits on at least two decades of learning and development. We are establishing it as a capability that can be practised extensively by others.
Framework Science™ took shape as we saw how much value emerged from the application of frameworks.
We learned how we could create considerable impact and value. Over time we could codify what worked. We saw how we could determine specific effects by altering combinations and characteristics in each area. By making refinements to the criteria (built within each framework/module) we improved the result of each interaction.
The World Revolves Around Information
90% of the world's data was created in the last 24 months. 1.7 megabytes of new information is created per person every second. Today, right now it’s estimated that less than 0.5% of available data is actually being analysed.
Information is of zero use if it can’t be applied.
We create frameworks because they are information in formation. All data changes as the situation changes and the only way to keep this amount of information in control is with digital software. Most businesses lack the time and attention to do the justice information deserves. There’s so much of it anyway that it’s impossible. The prize in getting our arms around information is the insight that lives within it.
“With experience, pragmatism and Framework Science™ we can arrive at a sufficient level of comfort. We start to tackle the data by accepting objective and constructive challenge and the structuring of information within frameworks…”
Making Strategies Sustain
Group Partners has been online in one way or another for a very long time.
We’ve used countless technologies over the years to store, share, create, collaborate and communicate. Now we use technology to do so much more.
Barriers have all but disappeared as technology and our digital platform has evolved. We are set up to provide businesses with the means to leverage and exploit the Group Partners approach, tools and techniques - online.
Client Access To Group Partners Online
The ‘place’ where our clients can get constant access to us and their program. It’s an online place to maintain the progress of making strategy in context.
Team Collaboration - Clients can collaborate, develop and maintain the frameworks that are designed to help them answer their most pressing strategic question. Gathering Content/Improving Context - We can run assessments to understand situations, consider sentiment and maturity, identify challenges, consider implications and spot opportunities for improvement. Alignment And Coherence - The client and we can ensure that the team stays on track/remains aligned to a vision or mission. Insights That Drive Performance - Everyone can share insights in the specific context. This drives better understanding and stimulates new thinking. The Vault Of Information - The team has access to and can leverage an evolving database of insights. These are continuously curated as richness grows to forge new ideas and challenge conventional thinking
Important collaborative conversations in business need to happen all the time. They unlock breakthrough moments, they unify the many different perspectives without compromise. Successful conversations result in understanding and ownership.
“Spending time designing a strategy with the best resources is expensive - but much more expensive if it doesn’t get executed…”
Conversations That Sustain
Collaborative conversations have to happen all the time because change happens all the time.
Frameworks bridge the real world with the virtual to make conversations last. they may start their life in a facilitated session in the real world or happen virtually. But because they also exist on a secure platform, they are a critical focal point and evolve with the team throughout the program.
An online/software approach has become the natural way most professional teams work. In particular on complex projects and with core business processes. This has not been the case when it comes to ideation and execution of strategy.
Because the teams are constantly adding information they are constantly receiving value in return.
FRAMEWORKS AND MODULES
The ‘place’ where the team works through its own blend of modules designed to answer their strategic challenge/question.
The Framework Hub is a place for group conversation.
The modules within frameworks make sure the right discussions are held and that key strategic decisions can be made within the right context. The foundation of strategy creation is having the right conversations. The right conversations are often not the conversations that are being had. Structured data gathering processes help teams to further inform their knowledge through online questionnaires.
Assessments, more focused ‘scans’ can be run at specific times to conduct in-depth checks on areas that become important over the course of the program.
ASSESSMENTS WILL BE TAILORED FOR A NUMBER OF USE CASES
Assessments have a direct relation to the Framework Hub
There’s a few generic assessments designed to help spotlight the main challenges and opportunities. More detailed assessments are uniquely designed to work closely with specific framework modules. Assessments are scheduled to work within key milestones, regroups and check-ins on progress and when there are material changes.
The context for the framework is kept current and aligned through the Progress Tracker.
This is the schedule of achievement that links back directly to the logic of the framework.
The system provides hints, alerts and guidance to keep everything aligned. The system is designed to reduce the risk of compromising agreed outcomes. The system helps the team to keep check that necessary changes in direction are mapped to implications, and necessary adjustments to the plans and everyone's expectations are made.
If you are seekers of insight then this will be no surprise. Insights come from the places others aren't looking - they will simply find what they are looking for. We will find what we need to know to make a difference.
Insights are those facts, ideas and statements that can influence a realisation or inform a change in our thinking.
Insights are the direct result of applying logical frameworks. Teams are encouraged to identify and share insights through the platform.
The Value Of Insight - Insights are golden - they are the foundations of strategy - they make the business case, they inform the plan for execution. Insights are breakthrough moments, they teach us vital lessons and create critical experiences. Insights In Context - Insights can be profound for everyone but also to specific contexts. The system allows these insights to framed in the right context at all times - captured at the framework or module level. Insights Are Mostly Hidden - Insights don’t announce themselves. Teams need to be trained to spot them and develop the behaviour to harvest them. Learning To Surface Insight - Insights can be found in the least likely places - lurking in articles, social media posts or conversations. We encourage them to be found and easily placed into the system.
The Insights Hub is an easily accessible place for curated information. During the evolution of an assignment will grow a mix of publicly accessible insights and a private space only accessible by clients. Insights captured in this hub will be tagged based on our assessment of what is important, relevant and valuable.
We Were Born In 2001.
We had to grow up fast. We were clients ourselves. We realised that external and objective advice/support was important. The problem was it often didn’t include the voice of the client - us! Nor did it bring the smartest or broadest experience we needed.
Business challenges, taking advantage of opportunities, developing plans or making business strategies that stick takes some doing. On top of that everything changes by the minute and the future is completely unknowable.
You will see some of our approach on these pages.