Human-Centred Strategy workshop

Learn how to design your business strategy to inspire innovation,
cultivate collaboration, and drive sustainable growth

This workshop will explain the historical evolution of strategy in business, why it’s often misunderstood, and the key mistakes that organisations make in designing a strategy that achieves universal buy-in and successful, sustainable implementation.

Participants will leave the workshop with a solid understanding of their own strategic blindspots, and a refreshing new way of thinking about strategy and strategic planning.

Participants will also walk away with practical principles, frameworks and tools to help them design an organisational strategy that isn’t just compelling but actually inspires creative collaboration and produces meaningful and measurable results.


Ideal participants

Executive leadership teams, directors, heads of departments, and entrepreneurial leaders.

Duration

1 or 2 days (depending on scope)

Number of participants

5 - 25 (negotiable by context)

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You will benefit from this workshop if you…

  • Have spent thousands of dollars and extensive hours on strategy planning that resulted in vague goals at best, and meaningless fluff at worst.

  • Feel your team all want the same thing for your organisation, but can’t seem to agree on how to get there.

  • Are overwhelmed in prioritising your growth objectives in the face of resource & time constraints.

  • Want to design a strategy that inspires commitment, shared ownership, and a greater sense of belonging and cooperation across your team.

  • Want a business strategy that actually supports your decision making and prioritising objectives, rather than gathering dust in a drawer or archived folder.

  • Want to have greater influence and positive impact with your teams and customers.

By the end of this workshop you will...

  • Learn what strategy actually means, and how the inconsistent interpretation of it costs organisations customers & revenue.

  • Get clarity on different models and approaches to strategy used by some of the most successful organisations globally, and how to identify in the case studies what will work for your business.

  • Discover the 7 key mistakes organisations make when trying to design a business strategy.

  • Understand the neuroscience behind strategic thinking and how to develop a measurably more strategic mind.

  • Revolutionise the way you and your team members identify, prioritise, approach, and evolve their work and their relationships with each other.

  • Significantly improve your strategic planning processes to mitigate overwhelm and burnout before it becomes a real problem.

Why does strategic planning so often fail?

There are a number of factors that cause a strategic planning exercise to fail, even if the primary organiser or facilitators think it was a roaring success. Over the past decade of working with organisations all over the world there is one thing I’ve noticed executives, senior managers and business leaders complain about above everything else:

We just spent a couple of days working on our strategic plan, and I’m still not quite sure I understand what the @#!% we’re actually supposed to be doing.

Usually this complaint won’t be expressed openly amongst the rest of the team, but in private and casual conversation. As a trusted advisor to many different people involved in such activities, I hear the same thing from various people who all attended the same strategic planning workshops.

And I’ve heard it enough times, across enough organisations, to know that it’s not about the comprehension skills of the individuals feeling confused and unclear.

A failure to get everyone involved on the same page, with universal clarity about what that page is, and a consistent understanding of what to do with that page once everyone is on it, is usually a symptom of having made a number of assumptions about the prior knowledge, values, and priorities of each individual.

This in turn results in a strategy which, although may sound impressive and promising on paper, rarely translates to actually being adopted and implemented effectively by those required to actually work with it.

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The cost of a hollow strategy that isn’t human-centred

I’ve seen it time and time again. And chances are that if you’ve read this far, the above scenario and symptoms sound familiar to you too. The real problem though is not just confusion that a good comms strategy can fix, or resistance that change management can overcome.

The cost of a hollow strategy that isn’t designed around all the people it impacts is far more insidious than most would-be-strategists or business leaders care to admit, and it often goes something like this:

  1. The CEO decides the leadership team needs to get together for a couple of days of off-site strategy planning.

  2. A strategic facilitator that the CEO or another senior executive knows from a past life is brought in to run the planning workshops, often on short notice and on the back of one conversation with a couple of the team members. If they want to go the extra mile, they might bother reading the company website.

  3. After a couple of days of intense workshopping, 60% of the group are excited and optimistic; 30% express cautious optimism but are actually much more cautious than optimistic; and 10% are passive aggressive about the process and the decisions that come out of it.

  4. Someone is nominated, as a bit of an after-thought, to develop a communications plan to let the rest of the organisation know what the new or updated strategy is, in fragmented bits and pieces, so as to not incite too much anxiety about all the change.

  5. The passive-aggressive 10% and some of the cautiously optimistic 30% from the leadership group start expressing their concerns in casual conversation with trusted colleagues. Mixed messages spread. Motivations start varying across the organisation.

  6. Exaggerated and unsubstantiated rumours find their way around the organisation, and employees at various levels start complaining about how disconnected the leadership sitting in their ivory tower is from the “real work”.

  7. A stubborn 20% of the workforce resist change with obnoxious behaviour, even if there isn’t actually that much change to resist; a disillusioned 20% of the workforce start worrying about losing their jobs and conservatively stick to doing the bare-minimum required of them; a panicked 10% start looking for a new job; and the remaining 50% of the workforce take a “well let’s see how things play out” attitude, which holds them back from being as creative or as innovative as they could be.

  8. Strategic initiatives and programs of work start mysteriously drifting further away from their initial definitions, until some business leaders are doing their own thing, and others are spending half of their time trying to reign in rogue agents or pursuing their own pet projects.

  9. Some overpaid change management consultants are brought in to manage the change. Nobody worrying about the change quite understands what the consultants are actually doing, and the consultants aren’t quite sure what the business is actually doing, but their rhetoric about starting with why, the power of vulnerability, and a dozen half-started-half-finished PowerPoint decks, give some of the senior leadership great confidence for some reason.

  10. By this time, most of the people involved in leading strategic projects are complaining about being desperately under resourced and overworked, and the thread of accountability back to the business strategy wears thinner and thinner as time goes on.

  11. Eventually, that thread breaks. The work happening in the business has only vague and superficial connections to the decisions made at the strategic planning workshop. Tens of thousands of dollars or more wasted. A few key personnel lost. Employee engagement and morale compromised.

  12. The CEO sends out a memo to the organisation that everything is coming along really well, and the leadership team will be coming together for another couple of days of strategic planning. Stay tuned for more details.

The powerful magic of doing strategy right

You’ve probably heard about several of the below businesses - some more famous than others. You might also have a number of preconceived notions as to what makes them so successful and what they all have in common.

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What’s particularly noteworthy is what they don’t have in common.

All of these business have used powerful strategic thinking and planning to overcome unique and distinct challenges to carve out healthy success for themselves in their own distinct ways.

When your strategic planning and execution is set up for success, your industry, type of business, and unique problems can be resolved with much greater simplicity and ease.

The Human-Centred Strategy workshop teaches you the practical principles, frameworks and tools to set up strategic planning and execution that isn’t just effective but actually inspires creative collaboration and innovation, and produces meaningful and measurable results.


About your facilitator

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Dev Singh has over 9 years of experience working with established and aspiring organisational leaders to build stronger & more strategic business foundations, and to lead with greater impact and influence.

Besides working with organisations all over Australia in over a dozen sectors, Dev has coached and consulted for entrepreneurs and executives in places as varied as Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, UK, Southeast Asia, North America, and Singapore.

As a versatile subject-matter expert, Dev has designed and delivered keynotes and workshops for hundreds of organisations worldwide on entrepreneurship, branding & marketing, communication, influence, and project management, across a range of industries and sectors including Government, Financial Services, Retail, Professional Services, Non-Profit, Education, & Tech Startups.

Dev has a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Medical Science, with a particular interest in Organisational Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience. He’s also certified in Agile Leadership by the Scrum Alliance.

As a qualified Executive Coach and Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Dev is known for empowering other entrepreneurs and professionals to transform their businesses and lives at deep, belief-system levels, and for making every learning experience incredibly practical and fun.


Testimonials & recommendations

"Thanks to our work together I improved my employees process efficiency by 38%, which resulted in ~38% salary savings for company basically. I would highly recommend Dev to these who strive to be the best and are eager to discover what they can improve regarding business processes and strategic planning."

- Pawel Kaczynski, Innovation Manager, PHD

“Dev is a strategic powerhouse, an effective coach that enables results and installs the confidence in others to forge ahead in unexplored territories.“

- Jonathan Marin, Executive Leader Customer Service, Lifestyle Solutions

“Dev is very creative, extremely professional, down to earth and a pleasure to work with. He is an excellent communicator, has a great presence and presentation skills which shine through with his passion towards helping others.”

- Ralph Anania, Executive Mentor to Leaders & CEOs