This is a dialogue board, created to facilitate good discussions around business strategy and tactics in a startup. At Dandy People we are using it to start up our consulting business, but it can be used by any type of organisation, or part of an organisation that wants to improve their customer focus, culture, leadership and take action as a team.
At Dandy people we like to build our new business in a way that involves and inspires the people in our organization. To facilitate the discussions we wanted to have on our first mini-conference 2 months after starting up our shop, and after hiring 2 new people, I did this Lean Business Strategy & Tactics Dialogue Board. Off course we had already done som strategy and tactics work already before we started our company, but we felt that we wanted to be transparent and bring our new Dandys onboard with the idea of the company to enable them to feel as involved and motivated as possible. And off course, they are smart and experienced people, so why shouldn’t they be able to help us improve and grow? And I can just say that it worked like a charm 😀
Feel free to use the board if you want, also we would be happy to facilitate the workshops with you and your team if you feel a need for that. Thats kinda what we do at Dandy People 😀
The board consist of 3 areas:
- Business Strategy
- Culture and People
Before getting started, please read the instructions
Seat the team around the board, so that at least one person easily can read all the questions around the board. Most tasks on the board needs to be facilitated as a small workshop. The person closes to the question reads and facilitates. Make sure all team members are involved and gets their voices heard during the sessions. It might take 1-2 days to finish the board, and if you want to skip tasks that´s fine. It might be a good idea to do the different parts one by one if you´re not on a two day off-site and wants to kick start.
Time boxing is key to innovation and creativity. Agree in your Team how long you will spend on each part and task. Write down the time in the white small box by each headline. Remember that people need breaks, and that you need to have some variation on how you facilitate. A video could be great but you can also use stickies and thinking one by one, white boarding, or two by two, or perhaps a walk and talk.
We need to understand and agree to that FAIL is the First Attempt In Learning. Our aim is to learn as fast as possible and become better together. The purpose of this board and the included workshops is to make us better as a group and as a organisation. Every one need to agree to these terms before we can get started. Ok?
Vision & Mission
A vision statement answers the question, “Where do we see our business going?”. A mission statement answers the question, “Why does our business exist?”.
Tip for facilitation: A suggestion is to do a quick time boxed sketch first, and then revisit and improve after looking at the SWAT and the HOW.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and it might be interestinng to also look into your “unfair advantage”. What is it that you have as an unfair advantage against your compeditor? If you build on that it might be more difficult for others to copy what you do.
Why should our clients use our services? How will our service solve our clients problem? What are the “features” of our service that solves their problems?
Watch this video with Simon Sinek on Youtube: “Start with why – how great leaders inspire to action”. Then reflect and start crafting your WHY, HOW & WHAT.
Tip for facilitation: If you want to make this part more fun you can use the workshop format “Product Box” or “Design the Box”. It will then also include who the customers are.
Who are our customers now? What customers would we like to have? How do we get new customers?
What animal are we?
A shaper is someone who is shaping new markets, leaving the competitors behind. The use of provocative thinking is natural for these companies. A competitor are those who follows the Shaper and tries to do what the Shaper has already succeed with. A Improver is not interested in doing big changes, they improve what they already have. They might soon become a Desperado. A Desperado is the opposite from a Shaper. They must do something radical, or they wont exist as a company any more.They are usually cutting costs.
Culture and People
What culture would you need or like to have. Make it a strategic decision.
Watch this video with Dan Pink on Youtube: “Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us”.
What type of behaviors do we want to see? What type of company culture do we want to have? How could we make this culture happen?
Companies that balance outperform companies that focus on performance.
What goals do we have? Do we need or want to grow? What competences do we have, and what would we need to be able to reach our goals? How can we grow and keep our culture and competitive edge?
What should we/I do the next 3-6 months?
What are the most important activities we and I could and should do?
Tip for facilitation: Ideate one and one on what you can do together, and what you can do as an individual. Also think about what support you will need.
What should we not do?
Based on our earlier experiences, what should we not do that would be harmful?
How do we work together
What do we need to keep transparent? What is our rhythm? How do we celebrate? How can we make it happen?
Thank you for reading this post, and perhaps trying out the board.
As always, stealing with pride is a great thing 😀 The format of this board was created with inspiration from Allan Kelly´s great Dialogue Sheets.
If you are interesting in translating this board, just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Free to download, use and share
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