Wednesday, May 6


It takes thought and commitment to reduce a complex concept down to its essence—something so short and clear that it is widely understood.  For example, it took me years to come up with the title of my last book, HUM.  The word “hum” dates back thousands of years to when ancient people used it to describe the sound of the universe moving in synchronicity.  Today, it still refers to the flow experience when everything is in harmony.  This one word, hum, represents the essence of what I aim to achieve with my client organizations all over the world and I have found universal understanding of its concept.

With the same goal in mind, the iterative process I use during strategic planning sessions with clients helps carve out the “essence” of each organization—it’s purpose, vision, and principles.  This process guides them through the steps of Defining, Designing, Aligning, and Refining, allowing organizations to adjust to changes in their internal and external conditions, resulting in a more adaptive and relevant plan.  Thus, instead of producing long and complicated strategic planning documents that are usually obsolete by the time they are distributed, we endeavor to achieve clarity in our brevity. 

As I mentioned in a prior blog post, when the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association ("ANNA") engaged me to guide them through strategic planning, we agreed that we would aim for communicating the essence of who they are, what they believe, and where they want to go in a single page document.  We succeeded, but more importantly, the framework re-enlivened the organization and re-engaged their members.  When I returned this past spring, I helped their changing board through a similar process—again with the goal of containing the essential elements to one page.  Below is what they crafted, which has a lot of meaning for the organization and its leaders.  What do you think?  Would capturing on a single page these critical components help your organization or team?  If you could develop a one page map for your family or yourself, what would it look like?

No comments: