In an era where exponential change and soul-crushing uncertainty is the constant, developing strategic foresight is a paramount skill for anyone who wants to ascend the corporate ladder. Without the ability to dissect and navigate the complexities of a hyper-competitive, disruptive business landscape and discern what the bigger picture holds in store, one is simply incapable of creating robust models that can guide decision making with confidence. Without thinking strategically, we can’t act quickly and competently to exploit the organization’s unique talents and proprietary resources when marketplace conditions unexpectedly change.
Strategic foresight enables an enterprise to survive and thrive. It’s about assessing different futures, designing and managing the pivots necessary to navigate through them, and measuring the efficacy of the initiatives required to circumvent them. It’s an interdisciplinary skill that can’t be done in siloed organizations. The methods used must be repeatable and the insights generated actionable. It’s a rigorous discipline that involves elements of systems, design and probabilistic thinking. The objective is to develop different scenarios and business models that can effectively operationalize the strategic priorities of the company.
A strategy is more than a blueprint for growth. It’s a theory and a framework for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Agility is not a strategy, nor is innovation. These are capabilities that must be astutely focused and adequately fueled. This requires questioning fundamental assumptions, quantifying risks and testing probabilities. It requires informed insights about how the business works (or should work), how value differentiation is created, what is required to deliver it, and how to avoid becoming a casualty of disruption.
Explore the fundamental principles of strategic planning, understand how to align your personal and professional priorities with the unpredictable forces impacting our lives. Learn how to mitigate these challenges through a disciplined, forward-thinking approach. Learn how to formulate and articulate clear, measurable and actionable objectives, develop your risk awareness and mitigation skills, and rigorously assess different growth scenarios. Without a coherent, dynamically flexible strategy, you’re destined to make the kind of decisions that ultimately lead to negative consequences or, in some cases, death.
The 2024 curriculum includes these topics:
❏ The performance mantra: Achieving clarity of focus
❏ Simple rules for reducing complexity in the workplace
❏ Aligning priorities: What’s important & what’s not
❏ Critical questions: Smart vs. healthy & optimal numbers
❏ Making wise strategic choices that drive deliverables
❏ Foresight: Systems, design & probabilistic thinking
❏ Visualizing complex dynamics & strategic mind mapping
❏ Future forecasting: Scenario building & re-engineering
❏ Getting the biggest strategic bang for your buck
❏ Avoiding a failed business strategy & getting it right
❏ The forces that drive business model re-invention
❏ Planning: Making the complex simple, easy & effective
❏ Assessing organic, M&A, alliance & IPO growth strategies
❏ Jim’s 8 essential rules for plans that will actually deliver
❏ Framing vision, mission & values statements that inspire
❏ Strategy limitations: The constraints & fatal assumptions
❏ Risk intelligence: Building risk assessment & mitigation skills
❏ How to see, understand & define “the bigger picture”
❏ Shifting the paradigm: Creating an architecture that fits
❏ Management models: The misused tools of culture building
The course includes a 31-page pre-course workbook of supplemental readings.