Less time thinking, more time doing?

When you’re trying to solve big problems, it can sometimes be hard to see the wood for the trees and identify a clear way forward. We’ve all been there - paralyzed by the enormity of what we face and unable to work out the best step to move things forward quickly.

Which is why we’re increasingly working with organisations to facilitate strategy sprints  - a fast paced, structured, collaborative and energising process for setting goals, making decisions, and defining next steps with your team.

Strategy sprints draw on modern working tools and methods, including design sprints and thinking, leveraging the best bits of these tools, and combining with the years of experience our strategists have of facilitating workshops to deliver an amazingly effective ‘next step’. 

Most importantly, they’re relatively quick, compressing planning that would traditionally take months, into just a week, unblocking issues, forcing decisions and giving you the structure to move forward at pace.

Helping a top University move forward 

We’ve been working with UWE Bristol, in exactly this way over the last six months to support them redefine their student experience in a fast changing and increasingly competitive landscape.

Whilst the ambition was there to deliver exciting levels of change quickly, the programme lacked a process to engage disparate members of the institution, consolidate thought, and promote rapid change. Which is exactly the type of challenge these type of sprints are great for tackling. 

We worked with the internal team to design a repeatable sprint structure to solve a specific ‘same but different’ challenge faced by different parts of the organisation. Whilst our strategists are currently leading facilitation on the sprint programme, we are up-skilling the client team, so in time we can step away confident they have the framework and skills to run these themselves. 

The ability to solve almost any challenge

The framework we work to and the process we go through is unbelievably flexible and we’ve used it to help move our clients forwards in any number of ways – from roadmap planning to product definition and process change.

It’s a short, relatively low investment process where we all play to our strengths. You bring knowledge of your organisation, your users and the challenges you face - and we’re there to provide the structure, to challenge, ask the awkward and sometimes obvious questions, and force you to agree on a way forward. And importantly this doesn’t have to be THE FINAL way to address the challenge, but it enables you to take A step forward based on the information you have at that point.

As a strategist I’d always advocate ‘BIG’ thinking (and for those of you who’ve worked with me in the past, of doing things ‘properly’), but these aren’t intended to be a replacement for that, but a way to pragmatically move forward, and in a world that seems to be ruled by uncertainty they’re increasingly a key tool in our armoury – the power of which can’t be underestimated!

Give me a shout nicola@greatstate.co to see if there a challenge we can help you move forward on.

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