Applications for methodology
When people move into lead a new organization, they need to quickly assess the complex issues the organization faces and determine what their priorities should be. We apply our methodology to select key stakeholders with appropriately diverse perspectives, and gather them into a Colab where their wisdom is tapped to create an influence map of the most important challenges the organization faces. This map, and all the other artifacts from the Colab dialogue, then become a powerful resource for the new leader to use in combination with their other efforts to understand their new terrain.
Strategic planning can either be about continuous improvement or it can be about transformational change. If the former, then a process like the one used for wicked problems is appropriate. If it is about transformational change, three Colabs are needed: one to create a vision for what ought to be; one to identify the challenges to achieving that vision; and one to determine the actions needed to overcome the critical challenges. Once these priorities are defined, then the Detail and Do phase methodologies are employed to make the vision a reality.
Wicked problems and complex challenges
The Demosophia methodology was specifically created to support understanding the most complex challenges, and determining how best to address them. With a robust Discovery Phase, we identify the boundaries of the problem and what perspectives are needed because of the types of issues within that boundary. We gather participants in two Colabs so that the appropriate stakeholders create a common understanding of the challenge they face in the first Colab (Diagnose Phase), and collectively decide what are the highest leverage actions they can take in the second Colab (Design Phase). From there our implementation methodology allows the priorities to be planned, approved, and executed upon to make the positive change occur.
Forecasting an unknown future
No one can predict the future with 100% accuracy. A group of knowledgeable people with diverse perspectives on the topic whose wisdom is harnessed in a Visioning Colab can more efficiently and with more precision describe what is likely to be ahead and how best to prepare for or shape that future. This type of work can be helpful for start-ups and in forecasting possible future scenarios for policy and strategy creation or risk avoidance.
Individual phases of the Demosophia methodology can be used in isolation
- Discovery phase alone can be used when all that is desired is just a report on current perspectives and stakeholder groups needed to more fully understand the complexity of the situation.
- Discovery phase and Colabs only can be used to accomplish any of the following:
- Visioning (defining the elements of a transformative future)
- Diagnose (gaining agreement on the problem and on the key challenges to overcome)
- Design (gaining agreement on the way forward)
- Implementation methodology only
- The Define and Do phase methodology alone can be used without the others to document the strategic priorities that someone has defined, plan for them, and execute on the plan to create the desired change.
Capability to successfully implement the Demosophia methodology can be transferred to others. It can be transferred to:
- Organizations that want to use it internally to address their own challenges without needing outside support.
- Organizations that wish to use it to consult. They would work under the Demosophia brand where Demosophia assures the quality of the work through training, qualification, and mentoring. Demosophia also provides marketing tools and support to help make the business successful.
The Demosophia expertise is in our methodology, not the specifics of your problem. That way we can help you successfully address problems that other consultants can’t or won’t. Ultimately, we foster a culture change that creates more results than many initially envision.