2015, February, 09

Slingshot Basics: point of departure

How do you start to systematically challenge the conventional boundaries of your business and actively drive its lifestyle enriching relevance? Here is a quick glimpse at my process with clients.

When I work with executives of various organizations, I don’t tell them what to do. Rather, I take on the role of facilitator, provocateur, and objective outsider who leads them to rethink their own strategy. My workshops are based on the premise that no matter how successful, innovative, or unconventional a company already is, its executives still operate within certain assumed barriers of what they can’t and shouldn’t do. I provoke and challenge participants to overstep these perceived boundaries in order to discover new strategic possibilities and alignment around the best way forward. How do I go about this?

First, I look to establish a general receptivity to unconventional thinking among participants via an exercise that evokes a bit of childlike resourcefulness.  Then I move to explore two basic questions:

  1. How do you define your business?
  2. Who are your most relevant competitors?

I find these are pivotal questions for uncovering breakthrough strategic possibilities, and by their sheer simplicity, they are quite challenging for executives to answer. So to facilitate the response process, I invite participants to construct a visual snapshot I call the “Accordion Chart”.  I will reveal more about the Accordion Chart in the next Slingshot Basics article.


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