Outline for the Using models as a tool in strategy development workshop

Last week, @interpretivst and I presented a draft workshop on using models to aid in strategy development. The impetus for this talk came from a couple of breakthroughs we’d recently experienced in our strategy development process.

This breakthrough fundamentally changed the way we’re collaborating and developing strategies @sequentia.

Our intention is to flush this outline into a full bore presentation/road show. We’ll see how that goes.

  • Why are we here?
    • Over the past few engagements, we’ve been experimenting with working with visual models, and have found them very effective
      • collaborating
      • explaining
      • informing strategy and tactics
    • We *think* this way of working is useful beyond strategy development. 
    • We DO NOT have all the info on this.
    • Purpose of this hour is to share our experiences, and see if there is any value in continuing to explore this as a group
  • What is a mental model?
    • visual or tactile representation of an idea
      • a map
      • a sculpture
      • a flowchart
      • a diagram
  • Why are models useful in strategy development
    • they are sources of both predictive and explanatory power
      • a well constructed model helps us explain and predict behaviours -> becomes the basis for strategy
    • framework for layering data and ideas
      • frees up your brain from having to hold stuff -> lets you move on to other stuff
      • lets you see connections between far flung ideas
    • allows teams to work together on complex concepts
      • breaks big concepts up into smaller chunks that can be layered on top of each other
      • the model offers a common language
      • get multiple perspectives and multiple A HA!s
    • allows you to communicate big ideas relatively simply
      • strategies are only effective if they are believable and understandable
  • Simple example of a model used for strategy
    • Sales funnel
  • Where do the ideas come from? AKA: What are we layering onto this framework?
    • research
      • Surveys
      • Interviews
      • Ethnography
      • Experience
  • Types of model frameworks
    • venn
    • ladder
    • spectrum/continuum
    • pyramid
    • funnel
    • matrix
    • flowchart
    • list
    • mind map
    • affinity diagram
  • Example of CLIENT X model
    • started with research
      • in this case, I had Ujwal walk me through the research. I prepared a bunch of thought starters and open ended questions to ask him about the work, to help uncover meaning. These may or may not be relative in all cases, but this should give you an idea
        • Why should someone follow these accounts? What would have to happen to thrill that follower/fan? 
        • what are the ways you can ignite their passion? 
        • Are the passions shared across brands? Which are common? Which are unique? Which can you build contests or campaigns around?
        • What would cause them to share? 
        • What should the tone be? Why? How personal? Is it first person or the royal we? 
        • Is it better to grow organically or to buy an audience? 
        • How can we integrate the social strategy back into the brand sites to create a virtuous circle? 
        • Are there any direct ROI opportunities? Can they drive towards specific promotions? Is there a twitter or facebook only coupon? 
        • How are we going to measure success? The strategy should steer towards those objectives
        • Are there existing targets for acquisition for the social program? 
        • are there any corporate culture changes that we need to recommend to allow these to succeed? Are they nimble enough to succeed? If not, should we recommend another approach? 
        • What about monitoring?
        • next came discussion
    • as we talked through these questions, relationships between ideas started to form, and we started to jot them down
    • this led to a number of A HA! moments and ultimately to the construct we presented (with great success) to the client
    • Take aways
      • using a framework (a spectrum in this case) allowed us to place a bunch of data onto a structure that we could see and manipulate
      • we were able to collaborate on the development of the model, since we were both looking at the same structure
      • we were able to push way beyond what we could have done if we were only holding the data in our heads
        • test concepts
        • move things around
        • take things out and add them back in
      • the model we ultimately developed allows us to convey HUGE meaning to the client in a way that minimizes individual distortion
  • Ways of working
    • you have to start in research. do a deep dive, for as long as you can/budget allows. make observations, but try to avoid conclusions. make notes. then write. and write and write and write. or go for a walk with a voice recorder. let your mind wander. let the research organize itself. then start asking yourself questions

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