2022 Strategic Collaboration Examples

In 2022, members of the SchellingPoint network used Strategic Collaborations to enable groups to design coordinated action in a diverse range of situations. We thought you would enjoy seeing a few examples of the different topics and their impact.

Click on a title to read its story:

Digital Transformation Needs Human Collaboration A global consumer packaged goods manufacturer and its consulting firm were two years into a five-year digital transformation. Despite good progress and regular governance meetings of senior leaders, the relationship fell into unspoken mutual dissatisfaction. The client program leader and the consulting engagement manager used the SchellingPoint approach to hold a full discussion, in a productive manner, involving over 100 personnel. With valid issues, inaccurate misunderstandings, and unresolved problems addressed, a joint action plan is underway. BACK BACK Maximizing Commitment to a Major Change Water utilities are moving towards automated metering infrastructure (AMI) systems. A publicly owned US utility was in the planning phase of its AMI initiative and wanted to make sure they implemented successfully. The leaders sensed they and the employees had neither a consistent case for action nor a shared view of whether the financial impact of a resource-intensive, multi-year implementation would be seen as positive or negative for the county. The Strategic Collaboration surfaced 6 different motivations, but the participants only agreed on one. Nor was their sufficient alignment on any of the five financial impact statements. These differences were reconciled, and the project now has enthusiastic support. BACK Using Alignment Insights to Do Things Right An organization was evaluating outsourcing its IT applications, infrastructure, and engineering operations. Going into a Strategic Collaboration of IT and non-IT stakeholders, the CIO had mentally presumed they would choose one provider for cost-benefit, economies-of-scale reasons. However, the virtual dialogue inputs from the IT managers led the group to decide that two complementary providers were the best approach. Beyond this key decision, the IT executives were so enthralled by their alignment analytics, their discussions led to a level of involvement in the transfer planning across the departments uncommon to the outsourcing consultant, with 'all the boxes ticked' on transfer day. Finding Out Others Don't Support Your Vision The leadership of one of the largest grant providers in a US state had a vision for impacting the nonprofits they fund beyond grants alone. They wanted to hear the community’s views on their strategies for implementing the vision. In the Strategic Collaboration they conducted, they learned from the virtual dialogue that many of the hundreds of stakeholders, partners, board, and staff didn’t share the vision. Therefore, rather than trying to implement the presumed strategies, the leadership decided to first communicate, internally and externally, the case for change and its projected impact. This activity is underway before they move on to developing the implementation strategy. BACK Why High Natural Alignment Doesn't Ensure Success A well-established mid-size manufacturer hired several new executives to help lead its growth strategy, resulting in a Strategic Collaboration to modernize a core process. Strong natural alignment around the why, what, where, when, who, and how enabled the process stakeholders to quickly agree on the improvements. However, two unexpected, ultimately positive, conversations were triggered. First, the Solutioning dialogue highlighted the different meanings the new and existing personnel had for key terms. Recognizing this, they formed a common dictionary, accelerating the cultural assimilation of the two communities. Second, the virtual dialogue’s Culture theme enabled multiple employees to safely expose an unspoken cultural dynamic they felt strongly would compromise the new ways of working. With the highly sensitive issue on the table, the participants designed an innovative method for removing it. BACK Fulfilling More of Your Mission A US region comprises people at the fringes of the economy with persistently high poverty rates, diverse Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), many foreign-born, speaking a language other than English at home. They faced challenges in accessing affordable and reliable banking services from organizations they trust. Using the SchellingPoint approach, a local credit union developed and is now implementing a strategic plan focused on increasing community impact while improving the credit union’s sustainability and financial independence. BACK Managing in a Post-Covid World The Covid pandemic changed how organizations approach office and remote working. A US Ivy League business school was interested in how this would impact management practices. They used a Strategic Collaboration to engage the past twelve years of former and current MBA students in the Managerial Decision-Making course to discuss ‘Deciding How to Manage in the Post-Covid World.’ Combining the experiences and views of graduates now in executive positions in leading organizations, successful entrepreneurs, and recent graduates provided a comprehensive view of how the pandemic impacted managing. The subsequent dialogue identified new behaviors and practices to implement. BACK Finding Out You Don't Agree on the Means to the Ends A group of domestic violence survivors with an education and advocacy mission wanted to have a bigger impact. Their Strategic Collaboration’s virtual dialogue surfaced a core concern that their way of operating was not sustainable. Though highly aligned and enthusiastic about their ambitious mission to prevent and eliminate domestic violence, the members had little alignment on their priorities and methods, such as their accountability. A Collaborative Design retreat clarified the critical goals and enabling activities for the next year, with metrics and defined owners. These included stronger performance reporting, with progress updates at monthly meetings. BACK Rapidly Designing Coordinated New Product Development An R&D team had an idea for a product line extension they wanted to advance due to the appearance of an imminent customer. They chose to use a Strategic Collaboration to create a product development plan that would rapidly move them from concept to fee generation. By creating a complete set of themes to surface and organize all the necessary opinions, they got far more opinions on the table for discussion than they typically experienced. The participants were highly like-minded about the subject, both the need and value and the barriers and issues, too. A stated benefit was seeing the entire range of opinions at the outset, including others’ perspectives they hadn’t considered and experiencing the ‘fullness’ of the thinking. In a few hours, they assembled a comprehensive plan and put the first prototype into review within a month. BACK Maximizing an Innovation's Viability As part of a European government's economic growth policies, they set a goal to ensure businesses and households in hard-to-reach communities have access to quality broadband, Internet, and Wi-Fi services. An innovative approach in development is running fibre-optic cables to remote homes and buildings through the existing water pipes. A Strategic Collaboration of stakeholders in national and local government, water and telecom engineers, industry, and other groups produced insights that led to the agency adjusting and refining their strategy. BACK Change Does Come From Listening to All Voices The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicated they want pharmaceutical companies to go beyond compliance and possess strong quality cultures. 60 quality executives participated in a Strategic Collaboration to define ‘a culture of supply chain quality.’ In 2019, one conducted a Strategic Collaboration with 2,000 global supply chain employees at corporate and 12 manufacturing sites, from the senior leaders to shop-floor personnel. Their inputs and over 5,000 pieces of reasoning were used to set their quality culture baseline and determine the first set of improvements. In 2022, the ‘delta’ assessment indicated that those who participated in 2019 reported all 28 Culture of Quality metrics had increased. The Core Team used the new inputs to identify the second round of improvements. BACK Finally Reconciling Years of Unreconciled Disagreement A historical society wanted to use its assets to foster contemporary social justice conversations, particularly related to African Americans. There was a concern that this direction would alienate many of the long-time members and trustees, and, therefore, negatively impact its finances. The Executive Director intended to retire within a few months and wanted a clear and endorsed roadmap to guide the organization’s priorities. They decided to use a Strategic Collaboration to listen to the opinions of hundreds of stakeholders, staff, and trustees. With surprisingly high alignment among the more than 200 stakeholders on the vision, the virtual dialogue analytics pointed the group to focus on the constraints. In one hour, the group resolved five issues that had been debated contentiously and continually derailed meetings over the past several years. BACK Successful Cooperation Relies on Good Collaboration A church had the idea of offering their infrequently used kitchen to local food truck entrepreneurs who needed licensed commercial kitchen space to be able to grow. 146 leaders of regional churches, eleven entrepreneurs, and 23 community leaders and grantors used a Strategic Collaboration to develop a growth plan around the idea. After one year, when the first 'delta' assessment was conducted, there were multiple kitchens in use, and the initiative was 400% oversubscribed by entrepreneurs on a waiting list. Conversations are occurring under the refreshed strategy to expand the concept to other churches locally, regionally, and nationally. BACK This time, it must be Right First Time A government's update to a weapons strategy required multiple organizations to work together to conduct a major work program providing new capabilities within a far shorter time than similar projects have taken, and within budget. The delivery partnership’s leader chose to use a Strategic Collaboration to proactively ensure the highest level of coordinated action around the government’s need. After reconciling three foundational misunderstandings among the partners, they used Collaborative Design to efficiently validate and mitigate 65 concerns about why the goals and timelines couldn’t be met. Reviewing the program plan, the government agency client responsible for the program stated how “unusual at this stage in a major program for everyone to be so clearly on the same page.” BACK Accelerating the Aha Moment In Europe, a national healthcare research institute is operating in a tightening economic climate. It determined it needs geographically dispersed research organizations to improve their collaboration for greater economies of scale and research impact. A key enabler would be a more integrated approach to public engagement. Agreeing that their groups are too siloed, within a few hours over four weeks, several dozen leaders, managers, and key staff participated in a Strategic Collaboration to improve their collaboration and patient impact. Their virtual dialogue analytics displayed their shared awareness of the external situation and their strong alignment on the proposed actions. They also highlighted their concerns about their challenges in executing the actions in a way that would create coordinated action across the groups. They realized they required someone in an ‘Integration role’ to ensure resource allocation, task execution, communications, and progress management culminates in the coordinated action. This pivotal role is in the improved collaboration and impact plan. BACK It's Not What I Was Thinking, But It's Right A SaaS software company decided to use the Strategic Collaboration process with a group of global subject matter experts to develop a go-to-market strategy to enter a new target industry. The group used the Quantitative Data Matrix to compile and share industry facts before beginning their 3-step virtual dialogue. Each person began the process with their own vision of the optimal strategy, but after using the combination of quantitative and qualitative data in the Solutioning conversations, a different strategy from any of the originals emerged. The activities in the agreed-to strategy and action roadmap have produced a growing sales pipeline and the first new sale into the sector. BACK It's Not a Good Strategy If There Wasn't An Argument An industry's research institute used the SchellingPoint approach to revise its financial sustainability strategy post-pandemic. The virtual dialogue surfaced that the Board and many staff members didn't agree on who their target market should be. This explained the conflict around what some employees spent their time doing. By seeing the entire set of views on the target market with people's reasoning behind their opinions, the board, leaders, and staff quickly came to agreement on their market priorities. With this sorted out, the action planning conversations flowed smoothly. BACK Structured Dialogue Grows a Key Resource In New York, an industry alliance had been working for eleven years to try to get doulas higher pay for their work supporting pregnant women before, during, and after delivery. Although data showed significant positive health outcomes for socially disadvantaged mothers and their babies, the Medicaid reimbursement structure was too low to incentivize doulas to work with low-income clients. Factors related to training, certification, and geographical differences had caused the alliance’s conversations to swirl and end without agreement. It chose to use a Strategic Collaboration to bring organization and efficiency to their dialogue that needed to involve greater numbers than could attend in-person meetings. The group developed an equitable reimbursement model supported by 136 respected representatives from payors, government, doulas, advocates, and hospitals. The New York state Senate passed a budget resolution which includes a $10 million appropriation for doula reimbursement and specifies the proposed reimbursement rate and 8 visits. BACK Respecting All Voices, Not Just the Loudest A school district of 2500 families in the U.S. was concerned about strategy for the coming decade. With technology changing the workplace in potentially rapid ways, the leaders and teachers at the schools wanted to be sure that graduates would be prepared for what lies ahead. Over six hundred parents, teachers, school board members, principals, residents, and students participated in a virtual dialogue. The opinion data revealed surprises about existing controversies related to honoring traditions and allocating funds. The most vocal people were a small group who didn’t represent the majority’s views. As a result, school leaders were able to communicate more effectively and create a valuable strategy with confidence about the existing public support to do so. BACK Even Hard-Skinned Machines Rely on Soft Skills A military manufacturer wanted to consolidate the IT operations of its ship, aircraft, and drone divisions. The Collaboration Architect ran the stakeholder’s virtual dialogue and pinpointed what the group needed to discuss. In the first meeting to determine what scope goes into the shared service and what stays in the three divisions, she quickly observed Different Drivers and the 3 Reasons for Misalignment. Some participants inferred from the questions asked by the new CIO of the largest division that he was politicking in what was supposed to be a collaborative solutioning exercise. When he explained his reasons for asking questions about the misaligned opinions - he was asking to learn his area - and by being the first to share his reasoning for his position on them, the group opened up, and the conversations flowed. BACK cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper cdn_helper

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