Category Archives: Decision making

December 12, 2017

Recommended Books in 2017: Anticipating and Grappling with Complex Change

How to anticipate change, understand it when we are in the midst of it, and grapple with its potential implications are terribly slippery subjects.  Over the course of 2017, I have recommended a number of new and slightly less new books that do a great job of putting these complexities into plain, elegant English, while …

November 29, 2017

Do We Need a Revolution in Strategic Planning?

The conditions for success are undergoing a revolution right now, as new technologies, business models and modes of communication transform before our eyes.  As a result, organizations need planning models that are grounded in these emerging assumptions. Yet, the forms of strategic planning that some organizations continue to use are grounded in the industrial era …

August 31, 2017

Upcoming Webinar: Drive Organizational Change with a Powerful Narrative

If you are already know you’re interested in taking the Webinar, Using Strategic Narratives to Accelerate Organizational Change on September 12th from 1 – 2 PM EDT, you can accelerate right now and sign up at the Association for Strategic Planning HERE.  Don’t forget your 25% Discount for being a reader of this blog — use the code …

April 4, 2017

Complexity, Explained: A Review of Overcomplicated, Technology at the Limits of Comprehension

If you haven’t yet read Samuel Arbesman’s Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension (Random House, 2016) I hope you will soon. This improbably short book does three things magnificently well: It explains the befuddling fact that we now live with technological systems so complex that even the engineers who built them do not necessarily understand their …

March 28, 2017

How to Successfully Predict the Future … and Still Fail to Impact it

If you successfully identify the future consequences of contemporary actions, and no one acts on your prediction, does it matter? A senior manager developing an internal strategic foresight program recently asked me to identify some cases in which people ascertained the future outcomes of actions in the present. He wanted to know what methods they …

May 4, 2016

If You Want to Generate Strategies for Future Success, Start with Narratives and Metaphors

Terms like metaphor, myth, story  and narrative are not necessarily the first that come to mind when considering how to develop a future-facing national strategy.  But they should be.  This point was made in brilliant ways by the participants at the Atlantic Council’s second annual Global Strategy Forum in Washington DC earlier this week. Metaphors …

April 19, 2016

Creating an Innovative Workforce in a Large Bureaucracy: Lessons from the U.S. Air Force

Strategic Narratives for innovation

The idea that bureaucracy inhibits innovation is far from new: Political scientists in the early 1960s were already making the charge that, “There is a growing feeling that modern organizations and particularly the large, bureaucratic business and government organizations, need to increase their capacity to innovate” (Victor Thompson, Administrative Science Quarterly, June 1965). Fifty years …