Strategic Planning

Most organizations do something called “strategic planning” — but what they mean by this varies all over the map. Cognitive Policy Works offers its clients a uniquely in-depth strategic planning process that unfolds in two major phases.

Phase 1: In-depth Survey of Challenges and Opportunities

The first phase is a broad survey of the cultural, technological, environmental, economic, and political challenges your enterprise is likely to face over the next ten to twenty years. Guided by a degreed futurist using state-of-the-art strategic foresight techniques, this assessment not only catalogues the known trends that are driving change in your field; it also systematically seeks out unexpected discontinuities that could change the rules you play by. It also evaluates the impact emerging issues, plans, ideas, inventions, and developments — both inside and outside your enterprise, on and off your radar — could have on your future. The results will challenge your current assumptions about your future, illuminate new opportunities, help you prepare for unforeseen dangers, and expand your awareness of what kind of change might be possible.

Phase 2: Comprehensive Planning Process

The above futures inquiry forms a solid foundation for the second phase, which is a comprehensive strategic planning process that goes far beyond the usual SWOT and stakeholder analysis and initiatives list-making. Designed specifically for organizations undergoing radical transformation, our process looks at not only what must change, but also what is enduring and essential to your organization. It’s specifically designed to create the open-ended sense of possibility that’s essential to any learning organization, while also providing the kind of specific focus that will enable you to move forward with confidence.

These processes can be easily adapted to include all-hands workshops. In particular, conducting a large-scale workshop during the futuring phase can be an effective way to create a safe space to begin open, honest, wide-ranging conversations about the directions the enterprise’s collective future might take — the kind of trust-building conversations that are essential to maintain cohesion and coherence during times of intense crisis and demanding transformation.

Smaller tastes are also available. CPW is available to do one- and two-day futuring workshops that can set the stage for your existing strategic planning process; or even half-day talks on futures thinking that can stimulate the conversation as part of employee trainings or executive retreats.

Interested in knowing more?