Innovating strategic management and business design through Interweaving
Subcategories from this category:Concept Development, Interweaving, Capability based Analysis and Planning, Knowlege Management
I have just come back from presenting two novel techniques from the Interweaving and Concept Development practices at the VMBO 2019 research conference.
These techniques enrich the value of information products, canvases, diagrams, and models.
In a later post Ill share the techniques and why they are important. But here is a teaser.
The Concept Development practice plays an important role by grounding and anchoring people, knowledge, and discussions.
The grounding and anchoring are critical for describing, thinking and working with strategies, business and operational models and other kinds of knowledge.
Take the example of describing a Need, something when dysfunctional would cause a negative outcome.
Before one can describe a 'Need’ then one must first be clear on what is needed. It is rather meaningless to talk about a ‘need for a football’ if one does not know what a football is.
The same applies in many cases, one must know what “Marketing Management” is before one can discuss a “Marketing Management Capability”.
The Concept Development practice delivers knowledge that can ground and anchor many kinds of entities.
Key deliverables of the Concept Development practice are situated knowledge and learning.
This knowledge comes in many forms, not only as as powerpoints, models, or documents. The knowledge is anchored and situated in peoples daily work, their interests, questions, decisions, actions and other information needs, to be relevant and useful.
All forms of knowledge are important to create and harvest.
The Concept Development and Interweaving practices can be used in varied circumstances.
These circumstances are characterised by many people, many ideas and intentions, many work practices, many perspectives, complications, VUCA, variations, interconnections, etc. That is, where there is a need to weave people and things together over time, place and boundaries.
The aim of both the Concept Development and Interweaving practices is to use art, craft, and science to unlock, realise and optimise the value of Togetherness. This makes them a good choice for empowering journey’s and efforts. Here are a few examples.
Introducing the Concept Development practice, featuring Interweaving - a missing ingredient in digital transformation efforts.
Digital transformation, agile projects, and strategy execution are all complicated and risky.
The Concept Development and Interweaving practices provide a much needed help that interconnects people, work and things, in order to boost asset utilization, and release business results and values.
The practices …
Maestro Henry Mintzberg provides an example of Boxology in the “Manageable and Unmanageable Managing” article.
Boxology is ideas, ways and principles that frame the idea of the Box. A Box represent an important Mockafjong, which is a beautiful thingymajig. It is something wondrous, fascinating and important to talk about.
Boxology was created as a result from ironical and empirical research. It is often used and considered as important in practices such as, management, business analysis, business architecture, and enterprise architecture. There, colorful boxes appear in powerpoint presentations, analysis, and diagrams to capture the audiences interests.
The idea of capability has become a frequent talking point. However …
…the definitions of the idea of capability range from being equal to the concept of process to be loosely defined as a collection of resources or a component aimed at realising some outcome or purpose. Capability is an old general concept and there are uncountable kinds of capabilities, but only a few kinds interest people in analysis, design, or evaluation work. The proliferation of definitions and usages show few signs of slowing down. The differences in perception and use in and across peoples work may hamper the utility of using the concept of capability in an organisation.
If you wonder …
- if the capability or capability kind a just a Word, made out of Lead, or a newly discovered elementary particle located just beside Gold in the Periodic table?
- if the capability map is a Word Cloud or something relevant and useful to people and their Work-to-be-done?
… then Capability Test provides a way for practitioners to evaluate the value of capabilities. It is a neutral test, which can be applied to an actual capability, kind of capability, or a map of capabilities. It is neutral since it does not favor any particular kind or definition of capability.
Digital transformation journey's can and are described by a manifold of stories. A digital Transformation is not only …
… strategy (aspiration, plan) but also digital technologies (enabler)
… operations (stability) but also innovation and transformation(change)
… the organisation (inside) but also the environment (outside)
… doing but also values
Each story adds a piece but what happens when you put them all together? What story is that?
The book “The NEO-Generalist” is a fascinating read, with a surprising connection to Interweaving. It turns out that neo-generalists would make excellent Interweavers with their mind-sets.
A few example quotes from the book “The NEO-Generalist”, by Kenneth Mikkelsen, Richard Martin, 2016, to illustrates the point.
“A neo-generalist is a serial specialist that traverse the space in-between the polarities.”
The series is for you that use capability based methods, and not for method or framework builders.
An important question for any method or artifact is, how do you define success? This is especially important in this case where knowledge about the capability secret is likely to change the perception of what a capability is and what a capability can and should be used for.
A Mockafjong is a beautiful thingymajig. It is something wondrous, fascinating and important to talk about.
When you find yourself in discussions where you wonder what you really are talking about. Try to replace the key “word” used to refer to the centre of the discussion with “Mockafjong”. Try replacing “digital transformation” or “capability” with “Mockafjong”.
Suddenly you all have to be careful about you say. You have to explain better without relying on peoples underlying and often widely different common sense. You become released from your languages biases.
What do you mean by “Mockafjong”? I, erm, hmm, mean …
If you get some time over you should, from time to time, stop and reflect on the material / artifacts you use in your work. Reflection is especially valuable on material / artifacts that experts, consultants and other service providers provide you with.
Here is a simple quiz to guide your reflection:
Something interesting happened when I shared the capability secret with colleagues, professionals, and researchers. A “yes…, but …” dialog appeared.
This kind of dialog and reactions, can important for you to be aware of when something new and simple is introduced and discussed. Especially if you use ideas and methods provided by others, such as experts and consultants.
The series is for you that use capability models, and not for method or framework builders.
… is the title of a series of articles that expose a secret behind capability based analysis, capability system thinking and capability management.
The series is for you that use capability models, and not for method or framework builders.
It is a secret that can, and often do, make thinking about capabilities go wrong and frameworks to deliver poor decision making material.
It is a secret that turns attention and efforts away from real business and organisational topics.
The secret is easy to spot and easy to understand. It is an insight based on practical work and research. Although confirmation bias and sunk costs may prevent the insight to take effect.
In the previous Meaningful … article about Business Capabilities I covered 2 meaningful topics.
- You need to know what “Innovation” is before discussing am “Innovation Management Capability”
- The result part of a capability depends on a number of source factors.
In this article I bring to the surface the question of what kind of capability you really want to include in a capability model or map?
Do yo want to be capable of ..
What is more meaningful to you and in work you do, with others across boundaries? A seemingly simple question. A question that deserves some thoughts.
In this short article I focus on the tool of Business Capabilities. A new idea served hot to executives and management by consultants and analysts.
Let us examine two meaningful questions:
It was with great interest that I opened the Open Group’s guide for Business Capabilities. This business architecture addendum is a welcome addition to their (information) technology oriented Enterprise Architecture framework - TOGAF. TOGAF is a well known, respected, and widely used framework with quite many practitioners.
Half-way through the guide something started to bother me. Something felt very familiar. Then I realised that the guide follows the tradition of framework presentations. A framework is explained first, then the benefits of using the it, are assumed to be obvious and clear.
This article is aimed at people interested in getting some ideas on how to enrich capability based analysis and modelling based on frameworks such as TOGAF.
A Talking Point Canvas is 1-page communication tool that has talking points for communication. The canvas organise talking points in illustrations, diagrams or boxes and they fit on an A5 to A2 paper, Powerpoint page, or a web page.
The purpose is typically to organise and focus communications, discussions and deliberations on a particular topic consisting of several talking points and dimensions.
An example, a SWOT canvas has the result of an assessment with results organised in two dimensions: internal-external, and evaluative better-worse. The 4 talking points are Strength (internal, better), Weakness (internal, worse), Opportunity (external, better), Threat (external, worse).
In many cases a talking point canvas presents a synthesis where assumptions, facts, hypothesis, decisions, vantage points, background analysis, details and dependencies are omitted for clarity and focus.
However, there exist a danger when discussing talking points in separation, without taking into consideration what is behind the surface and how the different talking points relate.
In the Harvard Business Review article, “How to Build a Strategic Narrative”, Mark Bonchek inspired me to share how stories are fused into the practice of Interweaving. What caught my eye was he’s recognition of the connection between a good story and a company’s strategy.
Interweaving embrace storytelling because it is a human centric and work oriented practice. I have touched the subject earlier and here I add another piece.
The new piece of Interweaving is that documention of structured knowledge and (point-of-)views, such as a strategy, business model or safety model, are accompanied by 3 kinds of stories (work to be done, narrative, logic).