We need a bit more Yang in strategic planning

As we all know in Chinese Philosophy there is the Yin (shade) and the Yang (sunny).

Together they form a complete whole.

They are both interdependent and form a kind of dynamic tension between two competing forces.

Yet when I think about the many strategic planning sessions I have facilitated, attended or contributed to, the Yin aspects seems to dominate.

The sessions are often dominated by critical thinking, adversarial questioning, closed flows of information and defending of long-held positions and assumptions.

This results in incremental strategies that do not engage and inspire.

So how about you consider these shifts in your next strategic planning session or leadership away day:

– From closed to open mindsets

– From convergent (i.e. this is the right answer) to divergent thinking

– From decisions to possibilities

– From Concrete examples to imagination

– From detached involvement to passionate engagement

– From Internal perspective to the voice of the customer

– From existing solutions to new questions.

The important lesson from the Yin and Yang philosophy is that both are needed but in equal measure.

Strategic planning should be no different to fully unlock its true potential.

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