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“Strategic Foresight”, by Patricia Lustig. Review by Mick Yates

Strategic Foresight

To quote the author: “You can’t influence the past – it has happened. You can perhaps learn from it, but too much focus on the past leads to feelings of helplessness precisely because you can’t change what has already happened. If you focus on potential, possible futures, and what you might learn from them, you rekindle your sense of wonder and love of possibility; you uncover energy for change.

That is the key premise of this readable and practical book by Patricia Lustig, Strategic Foresight“. Patricia suggest that there are 3 basic tenets in how we should think about Strategic Foresight

First, it is action-oriented. We should be actively working to shape and bring about a potential future or set of futures that we have identified as something we want to see happen. Purely analytical studies of possible futures are called “Futures Studies” and are not what is meant by “foresight”.

Second, Strategic Foresight is open to alternative futures: that is, we work with several futures because we can’t predict the future – and it most certainly won’t be an extrapolation from the past. The future can of course evolve in different directions, and the idea is to determine which are possible, which are probable, and from that we can figure out what we can best influence.

Third, it is participatory. While individuals can apply the principles of Strategic Foresight to their personal “future”, if a larger group or organisation is involved, the practice of Strategic Foresight must include ALL stakeholders. A broad range of people must work together to build and co-create the future. They must have “skin in the game”, in order to define the best choices to base decisions on. Successful Strategic Foresight is thus totally multidisciplinary in nature.

A common boardroom feeling is that never before have we needed ‘more hindsight sooner’. Couple that with the increasingly common feeling that the tried and tested approaches to strategy formulation are no longer enough. They still work – as far as they go – but they need to be supplemented with additional tools for looking ahead further than has become the norm, and with more intellectual rigour. This book shows us a way of doing that.” Sir David Brown, Engineer and Industrialist

The book lays out the needed set of skills and tools used to explore potential futures. It looks at how we must think about the future, and especially how we deal with ambiguity and uncertainty. It introduces a simple model of preferred thinking styles and explores the “baggage” and values that form our perceptions. The models, tools and maps are designed to guide users in developing their own, personal Strategic Foresight and then use this knowledge to make team decisions. The aim is to turn this future-focused creativity into real and sustainable competitive advantage.

Other sections include how to identify emerging trends: what impact they may have on your business; the strategic importance of early recognition; and how to apply the knowledge in your business. Case studies are interspersed throughout the book

Patricia pulls it all together by showing how to develop a practical method of exploring potential futures in the context of your existing business to help you work towards your preferred future.

Strategic Foresight can be found on Amazon


Patricia Lustig is a recognised and talented practitioner in Strategic Foresight and strategy development, future thinking and innovation. She has held senior advisory positions and led OD teams at major blue-chip companies such as BP, Motorola and Logica. She was a Programme Director at Management Centre Europe working in the In-Company division (designing and running In-Company bespoke programmes), a Visiting Executive Fellow at Henley Business School and CIPD Faculty for Scenario Planning and Foresight. Patricia has recently run interactive Foresight sessions for London Business School’s Executive Education

“Host: Six new Roles of engagement for teams, organisations, communities, movements” by Mark McKergow & Helen Bailey. Book Review by Victoria Yates

Host

It all started with a quote for Mark Mckegrow and Helen Bailey, an old Arabic proverb that states simply “the host is both the first and the last.”

In their innovative new book, ‘Host: Six new Roles of engagement for teams, organisations, communities, movements,’ the pair bring to life an original paradigm for viewing and understanding leadership from the metaphor of host. As they write: “Hosting is at the centre of humanity, and a little more awareness of the value of reaching out and opening our doors will go a long way to building relationship in teams, organizations, communities and movements.”

The power of the host comes, in part, from understanding that it both starts and ends with us as leader. Strong relationships are key to successful leadership, and in our increasing disconnected technological world there is a habit of stepping back rather than embracing our role. The book invites us to view the business world from this new perspective, to consider that as the host “it starts with me. If I do not have an open door, a warm welcome and an open heart, then nothing will happen. Of course I will engage others, we will quickly build things together, the future will emerge, for better or worse.”

Host Leadership defines six new roles leaders should employ in the engagement of others – Adopt the positions for a Host Leader, understand how to apply hosting strategies in your organization, and become a leader with a highly tuned sense of relationship building. Understanding how to really engage with people is the ultimate backbone of success.

The book has been warmly praised as a practical and fresh approach to leadership in the modern world.

Philip Newman-Hall, Director/General Manager, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, found it both timely and profound: “Having been a host and leader for nearly 40 years, the insights in Host were as refreshingly relevant to me as they will be for any young manager, be they in hospitality or anywhere else where results through others are needed. These easy-to-apply principles will last you a lifetime.”

‘Host: Six new Roles of engagement for teams, organisations, communities, movements’ by Mark McKergow and Helen Bailey is available now on Amazon.


Dr Mark McKergow is an international speaker, consultant and teacher. A ‘recovering physicist’, his work over more than two decades has focused on responsive and emergent approaches to complex situations. He also plays jazz saxophone. Co-author Helen Bailey is a seasoned coaching and change expert and previously held a successful senior management position with The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. In 2004 , she started PINNA Ltd where she is Head of Coaching.

10

LeaderValues July Newsletter – Baba Amte biography, “Playing with a Full Deck FREE eBook”, and “Key Advantages of Integrating Speaking into Your Business”

Lee Kuan YewClick here to see this month’s LeaderValues newsletter 

There’s a straight-forward “leadership” theme, this month. The leadership biography, by Victoria Yates, is on Baba Amte.

He was a passionate activist whose leadership has left a staggering legacy that continues to help and inspire people across India and beyond. In particular, he and his wife Tai did an enormous amount to help people suffering from the terrible disease leprosy.

We have two featured articles.

The first is a FREE DOWNLOADABLE BOOK PLAYING the Game of Life WITH A FULL DECKby Tom Vanderbeck. We are very pleased to be able to offer this. To quote Tom “One can effectively lead and empower others only to the extent that one can demonstrate compassion, mastery, and accountability for self-leadership”. The book has been serialised in chapters on the website, though the article below has links to the entire book.

The second is from Jason Phillips on The Key Advantages of integrating speaking into your business”. Some very practical advice. Leaders have to “speak’ to their internal teams and Jason’s advice that we have published before has been very helpful. Here he takes a different look at speaking as an external business opportunity.

7 Steps for Leaders to Deliver Results As a Team – Alexander Maasik

iStock_000002388752Medium

As a leader it’s your job to create an environment where people can meet their potential. Moreover, It’s your job to keep the team heading in the right direction.

Most of us have our own superiors and what matters most to them is delivering results and meeting goals. Setting goals is not enough to actually get there. So, how can a leader or manager do all of these things without compromising the work environment within a team?

On the basis of our customer case studies and different successful leadership methodologies we compiled the 7 steps which will guarantee success as a team.

  1. Looking at the big picture and goals

It is absolutely vital that everyone on your team understands the bigger picture and their role in reaching the objective. People with goals tend to achieve 10 times as much as people with no goals.

To make sure your team knows what’s going on, set company goals and metrics with which to measure them. Secondly, find a place or a forum to share this knowledge. Thirdly, align the company goal with each member of the team. Even the act of writing down a goal increases the odds of achieving it.

  1. Assigning tasks according to each team member’s strengths

In order for your team members to be happy and most productive, it’s essential to consentrate on their strengths. According to the Gallup survey, employees are 61% more engaged if their managers focuses on their strengths. In addition, people feel good doing tasks that they are good at and most importantly they perform better. Make sure you know your team’s strengths and give tasks accordingly.

  1. Sharing and generating ideas

Teams are known to achieve better chemistry and results if there is a way to share ideas. You need to implement a suitable brainstorming format to generate ideas within your team. There is a lot of different formats out there to choose from.

The benefits of brainstorming are better ideas, quicker problem solving and evolution as a team. Also, you’ll need an idea bank where everyone can contribute. Idea banks can result in process, operations and product innovation.

  1. Increasing engagement by implementing methodologies

One of the key parts of achieving your goals is a system that helps to keep the work process going. I already emphasized the importance of goals and the best methodology for that is Objectives and Key Results – OKRs. It is used by the likes of Google, LinkedIN and Zynga. Using a goal setting and tracking method helps the people to start moving towards important goals instead of doing small unimportant tasks. Employees also love it because of its clarity and the knowledge of what’s expected from them.

Secondly, I you can try out the Problems, Plans and Progress – PPP methodology. It is used by Skype and it helps to enhance team collaboration and keeps everyone informed. It also helps to clarify what needs to be done in order to achieve a certain goal.

  1. Constantly improving the work process

Using PPP methodology helps to bring out the flaws and problems of your team’s work process. In order to achieve the results as efficiently as possible, it is critical to make improvements in your work-flow. As a leader, it is good to check in regularly to see how everybody is doing and if they need a push to get over the hump. This can be done in a online status update format or just by talking to your team members individually.

  1. Encouraging people

All of the methodologies and goal setting techniques are tools to help the team achieve better results, but we have to remember that we are dealing with humans. People are emotional beings and although setting goals and giving tasks according to their strengths increases the odds of success, it doesn’t mean you should not motivate them as well. The best time to encourage your team is in the beginning and in the last part of the process. People tend to get stuck and in order for them to finish their task, it is good to reinforce the knowledge that they are moving in the right direction and that they are a vital part of the outcome.

  1. Giving feedback and recognition

The last part is the emotional side of delivering results and there is one thing leaders shouldn’t forget. Give your team members feedback and recognition.

These two elements are known to motivate people more than money. In addition, regular feedback makes your people twice as happy and makes sure they are engaged.

To conclude, setting and sharing goals with your team is a good starting point for delivering the results needed. Make sure you have implemented the suitable work process for your team and urge everybody to make improvements.

As a leader, you can provide the necessary tools, but in the end it is the team that delivers the results. So, make sure you motivate them by giving feedback and encourage them if needed. Following these 7 steps should guarantee a successful outcome. Be the best leader you can be and share this knowledge with your team.


Alexander Maasik is a communication specialist and content creator at Weekdone – weekly employee progress reports. Alexander has a degree in journalism and public relations and a strong passion for internal communications and online collaboration.