I have been thinking a lot more over the whole area of strategy and Strategic Workshops and came across the FAST concept from John Hagel. This is very similar to the workshops I hold with Focus being the first half day on vision, culture and buisness models, Accelerate and Strenghten being the second half day on opportunity areas, criteria and selection. The Tie part is ongoing.
I actually think that FAST isnt just good for incremental innovation but also for real dislocation innovation too.
Michael - Glad to hear this FAST framework resonated with you. I have used it in a broad range of contexts, across many industries and both large and small companies.
I would be even stronger in terms of stating its relevance for real dislocation innovation - I view some version of it as essential to any dislocation innovation. In fact, one of the inspirations for developing this framework was my experience working with successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs pursuing disruptive innovations - they had a remarkable ability to "zoom in and zoom out", rapidly iterating back and forth between a very long-term view of the opportunity and a very short term tactical view while paying very little attention to the one to five year horizon in between.
This is in sharp contrast to the perspectives of senior management teams of most very large companies who devote the bulk of their time to a one to five year time horizon. They generally punt on the longer term horizon, saying the future is too uncertain, and delegate the near-term tactical stuff to their lieutenants. Disruptive innovations will never get deployed using this approach.
Also, while a workshop is often a useful way to introduce this tool, I find that structured interactions with senior management teams over a period of several months at a minimum are really required to get unstated assumptions on the table, challenged and refined and to build true alignment within the senior management teams. If done well, this is generally a painful process for all involved - it forces very difficult choices and doesn't let people hide behind platitudes. Once completed, though, it does build both conviction and shared commitment and provides mechanisms for rapid learning as initiatives unfold - a powerful combination. John
My experience has only been with Silicon Valley companies, I can see it would be very different with more conventional companies.
I am having less of a problem with the business side than the technologists. There are a lot of buisness issues to work through that the Technology guys feel very uncomfortable with.
No doubt about it though, the FAST framework works well.
Inside Microsoft we have a twice yearly set of technical training for the people in the field...