Category Archives: short course

Strategic Advocacy

Let’s assume for a moment that you have mastered the basic concepts of strategic decision making. What do you do with it? One direction is to use strategy to get people acting in concert. To form community around an idea and to develop value in ideas. We might call that last concept “advocacy”.

How can we level up in that area? Here are some initial themes that we might work on

  • Advocacy is not the same as problem solving
  • Advocacy requires a long term commitment to a value for building context that we call stories
  • Stories must add value
  • added value must be reinvested
  • investments should build learning

This is an initial path that takes us from trying to scale messages beyond a given problem to building capacity to add value that will endure.

Can we do this. Stay tuned!

After You have Climbed the Mountain …

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to chat with a good friend about what his organization is up to. I was most interested in its strategic thinking – less interested in what it does now.

Sadly, the chat did not go very well. I was barraged with success stories. Successes already achieved, reputation already gained, growth already accomplished. In other words, I was hearing a lot about the past and present and virtually nothing about the future.

I was disappointed, but I realize that this is the story you hear from organizations that have achieved a certain amount of success. They put their future on auto pilot – future success is improving on success already found.

You might consider this quote

“Optimization is about working within an existing framework, while innovation is focused on developing new frames of reference,” says Experian’s Eric Haller. That’s the tradeoff between optimization and innovation. It’s not enough to continually get better at what you already do well, you also need to charge boldly into the unknown.

And how does one focus on developing new frames of reference? To do that, you need to have a dialogue with others about the problems you are solving. That dialogue can open your eyes to the problems that you are not solving.