We do strategy to tell stories from 3 years in the future

The strategy working group convenes to talk about a topic from the perspective of three years out. The working group is open to anyone on the team. Sometimes we invite advisors or experts in to share their expertise, too.

We use lots of different approaches to do this long term thinking together, e.g. see this article about how Vivien guided us through two different frameworks: Blue Ocean and Transformative Scenarios.

Collaborative Storytelling

One approach we’ve seen work really well is collaborative storytelling. The narrative format is an excellent way to get people to talk together in plain language about what me might do in the future. It’s an accessible way for anyone on the team to contribute their piece to the collective intelligence, and for us to build shared language.

For an example, see this story we wrote in 2015, envisioning the product in 5 years.

Strategy is not a plan exactly, it is a story: a way for us to think together about the future, rather than decide exactly on what we must do. No one knows what will happen in three years, so we don’t get too caught up on detail at this timescale.

The 12-month horizon is a bit more predictable though. That’s where we do planning.