Slow Strategy

Sunday, May 20, 2018

 

I recently worked with a client in a slow strategic planning session. The ‘session’ lasted around 4 months. The result was a deeply engaged board and management team with clear priorities, a sound funding approach, and priorities to which all board and management unanimously agreed. 

 

In slowing down we move, not faster, but with increased accuracy. Increased accuracy comes as the people delivering or monitoring the strategy are moving together with similar focus. 

One second in 1918 still equals one second in 2018. Our ability to think critically hasn’t magically sped up over the past 100 years. Moving slower and seeking deeper learning and engagement in strategy development is the answer to our copy-cat and knee-jerk reactions to external and internal pressures. 

 

Copy-cats and knee-jerks throw the latest ideas at a wall and see what sticks. That's expensive and wears the team out. 

 

Slow strategy forces us to consider the larger picture and more significant opportunities and risks. Slow strategy can mean faster execution as many of the roadblocks have already been identified and removed. Slow strategy gives us time to come to terms with very difficult decisions we need to make for the survival and growth of the business. 

 

Instead of speeding through critical thinking, I engage clients in a long discussion over several sessions. Strategy is not an event that is crammed into a single weekend retreat of demographics, flip charts, and feasts. It incorporates directors and managers tasked with research topics in the space between each session. The time allows everyone to reflect on the research and propositions at a steady pace.  

 

“Be agile, react fast, or miss out,” we often read. The author is urging us to make fast decisions in their favour. These consultants want to copy-and-paste the latest trend onto your workforce and membership, who may already be tired and suspicious of those in senior positions making another change. 

 

Slow strategy helps identify and get consensus on new areas of investment, rethink sacred cows, and ensures the larger workforce are part of the journey, risk considerations, and implementation.  

 

Funding for strategic projects can be assessed, checked with external experts, and, especially in a slow growing environment, priorities can be ordered in a way the organisation can afford. 

 

Thank you for reading. Please talk to me about Slow Strategy. I specialise in small to large clubs and not-for-profits.

 

Shayne Leslie

0412 241 773 | Shayne@IntegratedGovernance.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

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