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Think Like a Strategist - Confab 2019

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Systems Thinking offers methods for breaking down any problem into its component parts so that you can truly understand its causes and start to formulate solutions. Learn how four concepts—Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives—can help you tackle any professional challenge.

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Think Like a Strategist - Confab 2019

  1. 1. M E L A N I E S E I B E R T CONFAB2019 How Systems Thinking Helps Conquer Messy Content Problems Think Like a Strategist
  2. 2. Strategy D E F I N I T I O N & C O M P O N E N T S
  3. 3. How do you define strategy? @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  4. 4. Strategy P L A N @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  5. 5. Strategy is about 
 finding hidden things. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  6. 6. Hidden value Strengths Advantages Opportunities @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  7. 7. Hidden risk Traps Pitfalls Obstacles @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  8. 8. Strategy C O M P O N E N T S O F P L A N @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  9. 9. CONCEP Strategy T E N S I O N P L A N C O M P O N E N T S O F @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  10. 10. CONCEP Strategy C O M P O N E N T S O F T E N S I O N V I S I O N P L A N @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  11. 11. CONCEP Strategy C O M P O N E N T S O F T E N S I O N V I S I O N P L A N I N S I G H T @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  12. 12. CONCEP Strategy C O M P O N E N T S O F I N S I G H T T E N S I O N V I S I O N A N A LY S I S P L A N @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  13. 13. CONCEP Strategy C O M P O N E N T S O F I N S I G H T T E N S I O N V I S I O N P L A N A N A LY S I S @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  14. 14. Systems Thinking A M E T H O D O F A N A LY S I S
  15. 15. 14 What Is 
 Systems Thinking? A way to understand 
 the complex systems that 
 cause wicked problems. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  16. 16. Content strategists deal with wicked problems, too. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  17. 17. Siloed teams Unusable tools Lack of buy-in Unclear roles Too much content Irrelevant content @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t “Enterprise software is the land that UX forgot.” — Karen McGrane
  18. 18. Wicked Problems arise from the mismatch between our mental models and reality. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  19. 19. Mental Models H O W W E S E E T H E W O R L D
  20. 20. Understanding 
 Mental Models @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  21. 21. W RONG
  22. 22. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r tW RONG
  23. 23. All models are wrong. Some are useful. (Paraphrased from George Box) @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  24. 24. The goal is not to know everything. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  25. 25. The goal is not to know everything. The goal is to know the right things. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  26. 26. 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking T H E B U I L D I N G B L O C K S O F I D E A S
  27. 27. 14 Where I Found Them Cornell University researchers Derek and Laura Cabrera created this approach to Systems Thinking.
  28. 28. 1. Distinctions 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  29. 29. 1. Distinctions 2. Systems 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  30. 30. 1. Distinctions 2. Systems 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  31. 31. 1. Distinctions 2. Systems 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  32. 32. 1. Distinctions 2. Systems 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  33. 33. 1. Distinctions 2. Systems 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  34. 34. 1. Distinctions 2. Systems 3. Relationships 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  35. 35. 1. Distinctions 2. Systems 3. Relationships 4. Perspectives 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking
  36. 36. 1. Distinctions 2. Systems 3. Relationships 4. Perspectives 4 Rules of 
 Systems Thinking @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  37. 37. Systems Thinking in Action A P P LY I N G T H I S F R A M E W O R K
  38. 38. Map Your Ideas Using the 4 Rules You can use pen and paper, Google Drawings, or Plectica. Pen & paper
  39. 39. Beyond Mind Mapping The 4 Systems Thinking Rules will give your maps more structure and meaning. Pen & paper
  40. 40. E X A M P L E
  41. 41. Hotel Chain E X A M P L E @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  42. 42. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  43. 43. ? ? ? @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  44. 44. Let Your Map 
 Inspire Questions 6 This helps you uncover hidden value or risk. T I P
  45. 45. Questions Prompt 
 Conversations 6 The conversation is often where insight happens. T I P
  46. 46. 6 The greatest strategic opportunity for most organizations is doing a better job at facilitating collaboration.
  47. 47. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  48. 48. What else? @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  49. 49. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  50. 50. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  51. 51. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  52. 52. Examine Relationships 6 You can view relationships as distinctions and systems. And vice versa. T I P Systems Thinking Made Simple, p.142
  53. 53. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  54. 54. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  55. 55. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  56. 56. Credit Card Company E X A M P L E @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  57. 57. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  58. 58. Map the Mental Model. Map Reality. Find the mismatch between the two. T I P Systems Thinking Made Simple, p.31
  59. 59. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  60. 60. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  61. 61. Genericize Models to Make Predictions 6 A model that accurately describes one part of a system may yield insights about another part. T I P Systems Thinking Made Simple, p.109
  62. 62. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  63. 63. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  64. 64. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  65. 65. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  66. 66. CONCEP Strategy C O M P O N E N T S O F I N S I G H T T E N S I O N V I S I O N A N A LY S I S P L A N @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  67. 67. Getting to Insight W I T H S Y S T E M S T H I N K I N G T I P 1 Q U E S T I O N S T O A S K Let your map inspire questions. Is there a hidden connection between seemingly unconnected things? How might the things affect 
 each other? How does this relationship 
 impact the project? @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  68. 68. Getting to Insight Let your questions prompt conversations. Who might I talk to in order to learn more about this relationship, system, or perspective? T I P 2 Q U E S T I O N T O A S K W I T H S Y S T E M S T H I N K I N G @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  69. 69. Getting to Insight Examine relationships 
 as systems (and vice versa). If I view this relationship as a system, what parts does it have? How do those parts impact other parts of the system? T I P 3 Q U E S T I O N S T O A S K W I T H S Y S T E M S T H I N K I N G @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t3
  70. 70. Getting to Insight Map the mental model, then the reality. What mental models are in play (including our own)? How do they relate to reality? Should we match the mental model to reality, or change reality to match the mental model? T I P 4 Q U E S T I O N S T O A S K W I T H S Y S T E M S T H I N K I N G @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t4
  71. 71. Getting to Insight Genericize your models to make predictions. What is the underlying structure of this mental model? How might that structure apply to other parts of the larger system? T I P 5 Q U E S T I O N S T O A S K W I T H S Y S T E M S T H I N K I N G @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t5
  72. 72. Cautions T O K E E P I N M I N D
  73. 73. You Can’t See 
 What You 
 Don’t Know 6 Look for the gaps, with help from others. 1 C A U T I O N
  74. 74. Don’t Get Lost 
 in Detail 6 Infinite complexity makes it possible to waste all your time where there’s no leverage. C A U T I O N
  75. 75. Analysis Takes Time & Energy 6 True strategic work is a “long game.” You may need to be patient. 3 C A U T I O N
  76. 76. Remember: 
 Strategy is about finding
 hidden things. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  77. 77. 
 Use these principles to help you find what’s hidden. @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t
  78. 78. CONFAB2019 Thank You @melanie_seibert
  79. 79. Resources ANALYSIS Derek & Laura Cabrera, Systems Thinking Made Simple. Abby Covert, How to Make Sense of Any Mess. STRATEGY Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline. Richard Rumeldt, Good Strategy, Bad Strategy. John Spacey, “Design Thinking vs Systems Thinking.” Wikipedia, “Strategic Thinking.” TOOLS Plectica. IMAGE CREDITS Icon: Writing, Creative Stall, The Noun Project. Icon: Earth, David, The Noun Project. Photos: Pexels.com. CONFAB2019 @ M e l a n i e _ S e i b e r t

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