In my experience most people are completely capable of achieving their goals - once they know what they are. Most of my professional work involves hosting conversations that allow people to figure out what they want, why they want it, and what they would like to do about it. Communication is the key.
The next challenge is aligning what we want, with what other people want. The good news is that human beings have been doing this for a very long time and we’re actually quite good at it. We do need the space, and time, and sometimes a guide to help us navigate through the process.
The most common need that organisations seem to have is strategic planning. Who are we? What is our purpose? How do we navigate change? What is our theory of change? How do we improve our culture?
Every organisation is unique. My preferred process looks something like this:
Meeting with the client and developing a robust brief (1 day)
Interviewing a small number of people throughout the organisation (1 day)
Hosting one or more workshops (1-2 days)
Reporting the findings (1 day)
Most strategic plans sit on a shelf (or server) and gather dust. My experience is that the process is what matters. The four steps described above are the intervention. The culture of the organisation should be more purposeful, aligned, and positive as a result of having this experience. The participants should have gained the tools they need during the process. Change has happened.
Many clients just want the one day workshop. In my experience this is of limited value. I recommend thinking of strategic planning as an investment in the well being and coherence of your team, organisation, or community. With the pace of change most of us are experiencing I would recommend doing a process like this every year, certainly every 2 years. It will take 4-5 days and will cost around $5000+gst.
Most leaders and teams simply need some time and space to think. Having a neutral third party who can hold space and ask strategic questions can be very useful. Having someone to test your thinking with to identify ‘fatal flaws’ and underlying assumptions can save time, money, and reputation. As a designer I am also very familiar with the creative process and really enjoy jamming with people, facilitating ideation sessions, or running a full co-design process.
The other request I get is for public speaking, mostly on social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and systems change. Having someone come in to give a talk, provide a fresh perspective, and host a conversation is a great way to support your team, organisation, or community to move in new and interesting directions. Tell me where you’re at and I can give you some options for stimulating content.