Transformative Scenario Planning and CAP Do


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In my Lean Sales and Marketing work, I have become quite intrigued with the CAP-Do Cycle and Scenario Thinking. You can find out more information on the Lean Sales Method page and Planning with Scenarios. Both of these methods have taken traditional Lean thinking, and we might say turned it on its head. Instead of trying to influence customers and lead them down a path or journey, we use a disciplined process of thinking together and adapting our actions accordingly.

What makes Scenario Thinking so attractive is that it assumes we do not have the answers and addresses multiple outcomes that may occur. It allows us to create a systematic way to face a situation that has been found to be problematic (pain) or opportunistic (gain) from different views and reasons. In Transformative Scenario Planning: Working Together to Change the Future, they address using scenarios to approach this “transformation indirectly, through first building shared understanding, relationships and intentions.” Sounds like Sales to me!

The authors state the difference between adaptive and transformative scenario planning:

Adaptive scenario planning uses stories about possible futures to study what could happen, whereas transformative scenario planning assumes that studying the future is insufficient, and so it also uses stories about possible futures to influence what could happen. To achieve these two different purposes, adaptive scenario planning focuses on producing new systemic understandings, whereas transformative scenario planning assumes that new understandings alone are insufficient and so also focuses on producing new cross-system relationships and new system-transforming intentions. And to produce these two different sets of outputs, adaptive scenario planning requires a rigorous process, whereas transformative scenario planning assumes that process alone is insufficient, and so it also requires a whole-system team and a strong container. Transformative scenario planning enables people to transform their problematic situation through building a strong alliance of actors who deeply understand the situation, one another, and what they need to do.

SALES CAP DoI found the description of Transformative Scenario Planning right on target with my use of the SALES acronym that I introduced in the book, Marketing with PDCA. I use the acronym in front of the individual Lean cycles of SDCA, PDCA, EDCA. This acronym forms the alliance of actors/people who understand the situation and will be empowered to make decisions. The acronym stands for:

Select the initial problem perception
Analyze the current knowledge of the process
Locate the people who understand the process
Empower the team
Select the improvement that needs to take place

This SALES process is easily incorporated with the Lean CAP-Do cycle. In reading Transformative Scenario Planning, they rely on the same structure (see chart). They also reference the Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges of C. Otto Sharmer. If you have not reviewed the Lean Sales Method page, this is the time, you will see the striking resemblance.

If you are unfamiliar with CAP-Do and the principles of Lean and Scenario Thinking this blog post may be as clear as mud. But if you are, I think you will recognize the significance of CAP-Do and how it empowers the application of Lean to the Sales and Marketing process. Through this thinking, we are not looking to influence customers down a marketing funnel. Instead, we are working toward joint outcomes that will empower both parties, a true win-win scenario (sorry for the pun)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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