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Transformative Strategy

Traditional strategic planning processes often lead to incremental or tactical strategic plans. Truly transformative strategy development requires innovative interactive designs, skilled facilitation and the use of nontraditional strategic tools including scenario planning, success formula methodology, and three horizons planning. These tools individually or in unique combinations create a means for organizational leaders to collectively reach consensus on bold, transformative strategies for the future and for developing adaptive capabilities and an anticipative awareness of the dynamics reshaping their external environment. The result is transformative strategies that combine into a living Strategic Plan that flexes and adapts as needed in an uncertain and dynamically changing environment. 

Elements of Strategy

A transformative strategic understanding can only be achieved by an organization if it is able to achieve a deeper and more systemic understanding of the external environment and its ability to shape that environment. Such an understanding requires an organization to clarify its aspirational goals and vision, current organizational competencies and self, and the world in which it must operate. These elements of strategy are the basis for Stratus strategic planning processes.

Scenario Planning

Scenarios are stories about the future.  Scenario planning encourages an organization to challenge deeply held assumptions and to chart a clear path forward through difficult and uncertain times.  Scenario thinking allows an organization to engage around what it does not know and/or cannot control, as well as external forces that define the environment in which it must operate. By planning across a full set of scenarios, the strategies identified are both robust (meaning they work across the full set of uncertainties) and adaptive to the dynamic and changing environment in which the organization operates.

Success Formula

Stratus has introduced many for-profit and non-profit organizations to their success formula.  The success formula allows an organization to see the impact its distinctive competencies have on creating differential value and in progressing its mission. Success formulas evolve over time. Organizations can not only pinpoint areas of weakness, but also map out the past, present, and future evolution of the success formula. This methodology was developed by Kees van der Heijden and referred to as the Business Idea.   

Three Horizons Planning

Stratus works with clients to identify strategies to achieve their future goals and aspirations. Successful implementation requires the strategies themselves to be actionable and approached from existing activities and capabilities that support the intent and strategic trajectory of the strategies.  These existing activities (Horizon 1) are the low hanging fruit or first steps in implementation. Horizons 2 and 3 provide a mechanism for organizations to think about and intentionally invest in future programs and activities that will allow them to achieve long-term sustainability and their future goals and aspirations.  

As such, Three Horizons framework allows organizations to grow and innovate for the future.  An organization’s annual budget should, therefore, include Horizon 1, 2, and 3 programs and activities.  Three horizons planning is recommended to client organizations that struggle to create or identify new and innovative offerings for the future.  Three horizons can also be an excellent mechanism for achievement of truly transformative strategies.

Building Adaptive Foresight Capability

Stratus works with clients to build adaptive foresight capability that allows them to adapt and adjust to changes in the external market and broader environment. Scenario planning builds awareness of the dynamics of change at play in the external environment.  The scenarios themselves act as a set of maps that assist an organization in anticipating change early so it can adjust and adapt successfully in a dynamic and uncertain environment. 

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