Alexander Baumgardt – Strategy is a service!

By Adam Tinworth

08/10/2012 | Seek simplicity - and then distrust it. There might be something else.

In the old world, we inputs, process and outputs. In the new world? Process becomes services. Is the service economy the real challenge or opportunity? Or the symptom of something much bigger…? Things have grown so complicated that we cannot think holistically about them. We need to concentrate on one thing at a time. Maybe one and a half… This is not a good situation. Business leadership has problems. There are numerous internal and external focus acting on it. Systems are embedded within systems are embedded within systems…

Thinking. It's what separates us from animals. It's non tangible. But it's also design. It's trying to find a solution. But the situation means you can't see the trees for the wood.

The culture of the organisation is as important as what happens in the marketplace. Which is more important? Neither! They are both equally important. Design agencies don't solve problems, organisations themselves do.

You need to see the forest at the trees - Peter M. Senge wrote about this. And that needs a plan. But first, let's look back, 300 years before Christ was born. The Scripture of Wealth was written by Vishnugupta. He was an advisor to a king. One hundred years later Sun Tzu's Art of War arrived - looking at similar issues. The lesson: Design is Wealth + War. Strategy is timeless principles driven by human nature. Thus, strategists should understand human factors…Strategy is human - and its artefact is a plan. And strategy and design have much in common. They should do their work together. If you do things together, concentrating on your core expertise, you can achieve incredible things. It's human nature to think and do.

Amazon putting out a couple of ereaders is not a strategy. It's a tactic. The strategy is to serve human needs for reading with the best available technology.

Strategy is a human-centred design process. But there's a new kind of strategist emerging - ones who are embracing new thinking (well, 25-year old thinking…)

That was pretty abstract stuff…

Interaction between humans creates goals. The negotiate between each other - conversation. Technology can mediate those, but they remain the fundamental process. And our interactions are goal-directed transaction.This scales up to markets and organisations. But all of this is abstract, unless you focus on the points of interaction. That means humans first. Humans won't change…

Humans are multi-sensory beings. We use all our sense to parse information and transform it into knowledge. The immediate need is to build a human-centric culture at all levels.  You can be a startup and a big business - but you need to see your company as an organism. Teams need to come together, work on a project, and then break-up and reform in new patterns.

He uses triangulation to trick the human mind into processing more than it normally can. Think three things, and as you move from one to the next, you retain shadows of what you were doing before. But you need to be able to work creatively with paradox, uncertainty and contradiction…