One of the coolest parts about KaiNexicon is the opportunity for customers to not only increase their Kai-Knowledge but to connect and learn from other Lean professionals. That’s why we host influential, Lean-minded keynote speakers each year.
We were so excited to have Deondra Wardelle join us as a keynote speaker this year. Deondra Wardelle, a visionary leader and speaker, specializes in empowering individuals and corporate groups through strategic visioning to achieve goals and sustain transformative change.
In Deondra’s keynote presentation, she shared How the Strategic Visioning Experience™ Advances Inclusion and Engagement. ‘Strategic visioning’ is a way to look at strategic planning through a different lens—a lens of connecting policy with Continuous Improvement and cultivating an environment where inclusion and engagement strive. Check out the video recording of her entire keynote or read the recap below.
What Makes Strategic Planning Difficult?
Sometimes, knowing where to start in strategic planning is hard. Barriers to entry typically include one or more of the following: getting started, having a vague vision, purpose & mission, your priorities seem overwhelming, or operationalizing D.E.I.A. Based on results of a LinkedIn poll Deondra ran, ‘having a vague vision, purpose & mission’ overwhelmingly led as the top struggle people encounter the most in strategic planning. So how do we go about overcoming this?
Traditional Planning vs. Strategic Visioning
In traditional strategic planning, there’s a heavy emphasis on ‘perfectionism’. With this, there’s little time, energy, or money put into reflection because the focus is to make everything perfect. Compared to strategic visioning, where a culture that values mistakes and learns from them is the goal.
Additionally, traditional strategic planning typically takes part in paternalism, where decision-making is apparent to those in power and unclear to those who are not. So basically, if you weren’t at the meeting to discuss the strategic plan, you have no idea what’s happening. Using strategic visioning allows each and every person in your organization to be a part of the conversion and the vision.
Lastly, there is a standard for promoting individualism in traditional planning. Meaning one person performs all the work and doesn’t collaborate with their team. A culture that applies strategic visioning encourages teamwork to happen throughout the process.
Where to Begin
Well, it all begins with a vision. In the Lean community, most of us are familiar with Toyota Kata (Kata meaning ‘a way of doing’). The first step of Kata begins with the vision, just as strategic visioning does. In both of these first steps, it’s important to ask ourselves, “Wouldn’t it be great if…” to help us narrow down our priorities. What would help our customer’s experience? What would help our employees? No matter what your goal is, starting with your vision is important.
Why Strategic Visioning?
In mapping out your strategic vision, there are four main steps involved:
- Dream it. Here, we want to create a clarifying vision statement. What is our inspiration? Why do we get out of bed every morning?
- Discern it. We need to make sure we have a good idea of how business is operating right now. Understanding where we are and where we want to be will help give us alignment in our goals.
- Develop it. This is where S.M.A.R.T. objectives come into play. Creating actionable, concrete objectives help us with the actual execution of your goals.
- Do it. Finally, we need to create daily habits. What have we learned from mistakes we’ve made, what have we learned from experiments, and how can we implement these learnings into building these habits?
And then, this cycle continues as we get closer and closer to our vision.
In closing, the connection between strategic visioning and continuous improvement, and the difference between traditional strategic planning, comes down to dreaming and doing—ultimately connecting the vision and aspirations with the specifics. When we can create an environment where it’s clear what your responsibilities are—where each and every person in the organization understands what the priorities of the company are and where the organization is going—where you can ultimately see your connection and value to the company, giving you the confidence to give feedback and make improvements. This culture empowers employees across the entire organization.
So today, take a minute to answer for yourself, “Wouldn’t it be great if…”.
Huge thank you again to our wonderful keynote speaker, Deondra Wardelle. Deondra launched On To the Next One Consulting, L.L.C., to serve as a strategic partner and cultural change agent. She works alongside clients to assess, prioritize, and address operational challenges. Her services range from facilitating strategic planning workshops to Continuous Improvement training to coaching leaders on operationalizing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Deondra was recently announced as a keynote speaker at this year’s A.M.E. conference in Dallas, TX.
You can connect with Deondra Wardelle on LinkedIn, on her website at www.deondrawardelle.com, or follow her #RootCauseRacism Blog Series at: www.rootcauseracism.com/blog
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