Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

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The Four Phases of an Adaptable, Resilient and Sustainable Organisation

Friday 15 July 2016

There are four phases of thinking that every organisation MUST have available to them if they plan to be resilient to challenges, adaptable to changing circumstances and able to sustain themselves over time. The Phases are Strategic; Operational; Execution; and Evolution. If you miss any one of them or underplay an area, sooner or later you are going to get bitten. HARD

The Strategic Phase is about Direction and the Big Picture. It's about selecting the major issues that matter most to your organisation - it's the WHAT aspect. The Operational Phase is about preparing and selecting the resources you will need and working out HOW those resources will be used. The Execution Phase determines the WHEN something gets done. The Evolution Phase addresses the need to learn, improve and become something better, different if needed.

The Phases are distinct in terms of the required capability needed to do them well. In addition, the need to enable a smooth transition between each phase is also required. What I refer to as th 'hand-off' from one area of thinking to another is much like the passing of a baton during a running relay. Both aspects need momentum - too much from one and the baton gets dropped or not handed off. The hand-off is typically best handled conversationally rather than strict rules. Guidelines and process matter, but they will not survive poor communication and shared understanding.

The hand off is a realisation that Strategic Thinking doesn't determine HOW. The hand off is that the Operational Phase isn't where the DO happens, nor the WHEN. The hand off from Execution is that it doesn't decide 'now what?'. And as the loop continues, the hand-off is that Evolution does not decide the next idea of Focus for the new Now. 

So there you have it - Strategic; Operational; Execution; and Evolution. Four phases that organisations looking for success MUST work through on an ongoing basis in order to embed resilience, adaptability and sustainability


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