Survival in a Changing World

Knowing when to let things go and change priorities mid-plan.

Survival in a changing world

Changing Priorities: the Route to Survival in a Changing World

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – Wendy’s books on Amazon

Survival in a changing world – people at work are usually too well schooled these days in the arts of time management and setting priorities. Most of us have set SMART goals for a few years now. (If by some chance you haven’t, get in touch I’ll be very glad to pass on the tips.) We know how to sort urgent items from the important things we need to take time to consider and plan.

What many of us seem to be much less good at, though,  is knowing when to let things go and change priorities mid-plan.

Sometimes it is just easier to spend time hacking at trees than to go up in a helicopter so that you can recognise the danger to the forest from the fire on the horizon.

We live and work in a world that is full of changes that no one quite understands. When we plan, it can only ever be on only knowledge of what the future holds. That means we can never create a perfect map to success in the future.

To thrive now we need the ability to re-assess our plans as the terrain changes beneath out feet and the environment changes around us.

For example, a new technological development may be about to revolutionise the way that products or services are delivered to customers in our sector. This might present a threat but if responded to early and with insight it could be an opportunity.

So when you are planning, build in some regular review points for your priorities and have the confidence to change them and how you respond to them. That way lies survival in a changing world.

Other resources for job seekers

In the job market, there are always lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket-book.

Stress-free Job Search
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book, it is for all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help both  job search and career resilience. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Strategic Thinking – Can You Do It?

J M Liedtka has observed five competencies for strategic thinking;

Strategic Thinking – Can You Do It?

What Is Strategic Thinking And Can You Do It?

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking means generating and applying unique business insights and opportunities to create advantage for an organization.

It can be done individually, as well as in a group. Working in a group may improve the quality of strategic thinking by creative dialogue and challenge, adding different perspectives on critical and complex issues. This kind of thinking is a distinct benefit in a highly competitive and fast-changing business landscape.

J M Liedtka

J. M. Liedtka is a professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia. Formerly the executive director of its Batten Institute, a foundation established to develop thought leadership in the fields of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation; she has also served as chief learning officer for the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and as associate dean of the MBA program at Darden.

At United Technologies Corporation she was responsible for overseeing corporate learning and development for the Fortune 50 Corporation, including executive education, career development processes, employer-sponsored education and learning portal and web-based activities.

Strategic thinking competencies

J M Liedtka has observed five competencies for strategic thinking;

  1. A systems perspective; this enables understanding of the implications of strategic actions. A strategic thinker has a mental model of the complete end-to-end system of how the organization delivers value and his or her role within it, and an understanding of the competencies the organization contains already
  2. Intent focus; this means more clear determination to succeed with less willingness to be distracted by side issues – seeing the wood, despite the trees . To gain competitive advantage the organization needs more focus than others around it. Crediting Hamel and Prahalad with popularizing the concept, J M Liedtka describes strategic intent as “the focus that allows individuals within an organization to marshal and leverage their energy, to focus attention, to resist distraction, and to concentrate for as long as it takes to achieve a goal.”
  3. Thinking in time; this means being able to hold past, present and future in mind at the same time to create better decision making and speed implementation. “Strategy is not driven by future intent alone. It is the gap between today’s reality and intent for the future that is critical.” Scenario planning is a practical application for incorporating “thinking in time” into strategy making.
  4. Hypothesis driven thinking; this ensures that both creative and critical thinking are incorporated into strategy making. This competency explicitly incorporates the scientific method into strategic thinking.
  5. Intelligent opportunism; this means being able to respond positively to good opportunities for change. “The dilemma involved in using a well-articulated strategy to channel organizational efforts effectively and efficiently must always be balanced against the risks of losing sight of alternative strategies better suited to a changing environment.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

What Is Strategic Thinking And Can You Do It?

J M Liedtka has observed five competencies for strategic thinking;

English: example of using a mindmap in a strat...

What Is Strategic Thinking And Can You Do It?

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking means generating and applying unique business insights and opportunities to create advantage for an organization.

It can be done individually, as well as in a group. Working in a group may improve the quality of strategic thinking by creative dialogue and challenge, adding different perspectives on critical and complex issues. This kind of thinking is a distinct benefit in a highly competitive and fast-changing business landscape.

J M Liedtka

J. M. Liedtka is a professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia. Formerly the executive director of its Batten Institute, a foundation established to develop thought leadership in the fields of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation; she has also served as chief learning officer for the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and as associate dean of the MBA program at Darden.

At United Technologies Corporation she was responsible for overseeing corporate learning and development for the Fortune 50 Corporation, including executive education, career development processes, employer-sponsored education and learning portal and web-based activities.

Strategic thinking competencies

J M Liedtka has observed five competencies for strategic thinking;

  1. A systems perspective; this enables understanding of the implications of strategic actions. A strategic thinker has a mental model of the complete end-to-end system of how the organization delivers value and his or her role within it, and an understanding of the competencies the organization contains already
  2. Intent focus; this means more clear determination to succeed with less willingness to be distracted by side issues – seeing the wood, despite the trees . To gain competitive advantage the organization needs more focus than others around it. Crediting Hamel and Prahalad with popularizing the concept, J M Liedtka describes strategic intent as “the focus that allows individuals within an organization to marshal and leverage their energy, to focus attention, to resist distraction, and to concentrate for as long as it takes to achieve a goal.”
  3. Thinking in time; this means being able to hold past, present and future in mind at the same time to create better decision making and speed implementation. “Strategy is not driven by future intent alone. It is the gap between today’s reality and intent for the future that is critical.” Scenario planning is a practical application for incorporating “thinking in time” into strategy making.
  4. Hypothesis driven thinking; this ensures that both creative and critical thinking are incorporated into strategy making. This competency explicitly incorporates the scientific method into strategic thinking.
  5. Intelligent opportunism; this means being able to respond positively to good opportunities for change. “The dilemma involved in using a well-articulated strategy to channel organizational efforts effectively and efficiently must always be balanced against the risks of losing sight of alternative strategies better suited to a changing environment.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

 6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

This is an interesting post on http://www.inc.com from Paul J. H.Schoemaker

Paul is Founder and Chairman of Decision Strategies Intl.  He is also a speaker, academic and entrepreneur.  He is Research Director, Mack Ctr for Technological Innovation at Wharton, where he teaches strategic decision-making. His latest book is Brilliant Mistakes: Finding Success on the Far Side of Failure,

Here is an introduction and link to the post,

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

You’re the boss, but you still spend too much time on the day-to-day. Here’s how to become the strategic leader your company needs…….

After two decades of advising organizations large and small, my colleagues and I have formed a clear idea of what’s required of you in this role. Adaptive strategic leaders — the kind who thrive in today’s uncertain environment – do six things well…More at the link below.

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers | Inc.com.

Working with a coach really can make your career zing! Get in touch at the email email address below.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Leading Change – Not Another Version of Wonderland – Scenario Planning Part 2

In scenario planning, scenarios provide a way to think about the uncertain aspects of the future particularly those that seem most unsettled and worrying. Building and using scenarios can help organisations explore what the future might look like and the likely challenges of living in it. As I explained in my last post a scenario is a story that describes a possible future. But no one view of the future will be correct. So scenario builders create sets of scenarios. These scenarios address the same questions and include everything that is likely to persist from the present into the future.

The White Rabbit in a hurry

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” Alice in Alice in Wonderland!

In scenario planning, scenarios provide a way to think about the uncertain aspects of the future particularly those that seem most unsettled and worrying.

Building and using scenarios can help organisations explore what the future might look like and the likely challenges of living in it.

As I explained in my last post a scenario is a story that describes a possible future. But no one view of the future will be correct. So scenario builders create sets of scenarios. These scenarios address the same questions and include everything that is likely to persist from the present into the future.

Each scenario describes a different way that the future might play out.

Scenarios are based on educated guesses and intuition and they need to be supported with very good information and strong analysis!  They are very carefully crafted structures.

But they are written as stories so that they can make that future seem vivid and compelling.  Without that, the real value in determining how the organisation might respond will be lost!

Using graphics, images and illustrations makes scenarios more comprehensible. They are particularly useful when the scenario needs to contain a lot of complex statistical information.

Scenarios  are not predictions – they are a way of dealing with uncertainty but no one has a crystal ball.  Factors will change!   But they provide a way to have a conversation about the future at strategic level.

Scenarios are a way to consider the potential implications of different events.  They mean teams can think through possible responses.

They provide a great way to get a group in the same room and using the same language.  This can be for a possible future or to help with thinking in a common way about current events.

Scenarios support a positive conversation about how to deal with future uncertainties and for making more successful strategic decisions

In my last post I mentioned that Shell has used scenario planning for quite a while! Well they have produced ‘Scenarios: An Explorer’s Guide’ for people who would like to build and use scenarios, and also for those who want to enhance their scenario thinking skills.  I will be providing a very simple guide to scenario planning here on Friday.  But if you wish, you can download the Shell guide at this link.

  • Leading Change – Your Vision in an Uncertain Future – Scenario Planning Part 1 (wisewolftalking.com)
  • Is Your Agency Doing Scenario Planning? (threeminds.organic.com)
  • Scenarios: mapping the possible (cognitive-edge.com)
Wendy Mason is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her atwendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439