(Part 1) Developing Strategic Capability and Practical Wisdom

We now understand what the term strategy means to our business and team, but how do you go about developing the management tools to help you create the right strategy? In the next few weeks we will look at developing management’s strategic capability and practical wisdom.

Strategic Capability

It is said that strategic capability is the “ability to imagine plausible futures and how they might unfold” and “the ability to shepherd the present into a more flourishing future”.

As previously noted, Luc Hoebeke refers to three levels of management as the first level which manage the present, the second plans the future and the third shapes the future.  It is in the planning and shaping the future that we need strategic capability.

From this we can see that in order to have strategic capability we need facts, experience, and imagination for to create this desired future path.

How is this achieved?

To create an unknown future path, we need to rely on our knowledge, beliefs and values but there is a still a fine line between overconfident certainty and over cautious doubt or fear.

To find the balance we need to really know our current situation – the skills, resources, abilities and “aggregate functioning” of all stakeholders before we can see if we have the capability to change towards a desired future state. This informed perspective of the current situation provides the framework of developing strategic capability and provides insight into future consequences of your strategy as you picture it unfolding.

It is this ability to imagine the future state with its potential scenario gains (benefits) and losses (risks) together with the motivation and desire to see it through that enhances your strategic capability framework.

References and Resources

Practical wisdom and organizations” Barry Schwartz

“Making work systems better” Luc Hoebeke

“The Attitude of Wisdom: Ambivalence as the Optimal Compromise” by Karl Weick

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