What is Strategic Focusing?

Peter Senge talks about the "creative tension" required for effective change in an organization. The Innovator model for a Strategic Focusing Workshop endeavors to establish this tension: first by identifying the current reality of an organization, and then clearly describing a future-focused vision of success. It is the gap between these two which creates the "tension", the need for change to achieve the vision of the future you desire.


In a Strategic Focusing Workshop, we will begin by looking at the concept of change in an organization. We will do this by having a discussion about change using a Growth Curve (or S curve). Using this as a framework for the evolving nature of organizations gives us a common language for change. To develop effective strategies, it is important to recognize the evolution of organizations (and companies, departments, teams, customers - even individuals) and their needs based on their position along this model. We will also introduce the concept of Hypercompetition as it relates to growth and change in modern organizations. In this world, organizations endeavor to create their competitive advantage, destroy it, and recreate it with ever-increasing speed.

Current Reality


The discussion about current reality will have two parts. First, we will talk about the Changes and Trends which are, or will be, affecting your organization. This environmental scan will allow us to look inward (at processes, trends, and strategies internal to your company), and outward (to the industry, competition, market, regulatory issues, etc.) to identify the key factors affecting, positively or negatively, your ability to be successful.


Next we will focus on the current status of the organization by identifying the Competitive Advantages or Strengths of the organization, and the Competitive Challenges or Weaknesses. During this discussion, we may identify those key strengths that may be leveraged to move you toward a successful future as well as the key weaknesses, which may need to be improved, or minimized, as you move forward.

Vision of the Future


Working in small groups, we will begin to tell the story of the future. It is in this creative process that we will describe a Profile of Success for the organization. Having this shared vision of the future gives a direction, a purpose for your activities. In describing this future, we will create the tension to move towards the vision.


Having established the tension, we will next identify the handful of key actions that need to be undertaken to begin the journey to achieving the vision. These critical activities, or Critical Success Factors, will help you move successfully along the path to the future.