Learning Journal:

Review the slides that list of competencies required of to act strategically from this week’s ppt. Describe a scenario from work or life where you had to do the following:

1.- Act decisively in the face of uncertainty

2.- Foster agility

3.- Create alignment by setting clear strategic priorities

Describe each scenario, how and why you used this skill, and the outcome.

Strategic Acting Steps • Set clear priorities.

• Create conditions for others to excel.

• Teach others to think about strategy.

• Act decisively in the face of a volatile, uncertain,

complex and/or ambiguous (VUCA) environment.

• Act with both the short-term and the long-term in


• Exercise courage and confidence in your decision




Act decisively in the face of uncertainty

Foster agility

Create alignment by setting clear strategic priorities


Only some actions are strategic

Both short-term and long-term

An opportunity for learning

Always involve uncertainty

Strategic Acting

Source: Hughes (2014) pg. 123


Strategic Acting Competencies

Acting decisively in the face of uncertainty

• Changing conditions make it difficult to

assess risk reward

• Uncertainty: defining and quantification of

the risk. Chaotic contexts often require

decisive action to mitigate damage


Risk and Reward Assessment

Positive Gamble

Safe Avoid





• Safe: risk and reward are

proportional and low (=low)

• Gamble: risk and reward are both

proportional and high (=high)

• Intelligent/Positive: positive risk-

reward balance, higher return can

be achieved with limited risk

• Avoid/Negative: negative risk

reward balance, low return is the

reward for taking a relatively high




Risk Severity= (probability of risk occurring) x (impact of risk)

Foster Agility • The ability to react quickly to change by…

• Quickly sensing threats, problems and opportunities

• Rapidly responding with solutions that address

business and customer needs

• Efficiently changing processes and responsibilities

• …to realize business and customer outcomes

• Agile processes – processes that are constantly reviewed

and changed based on cycle of design, deliver, evaluate

and redesign



Chaotic Agile

Static Confined


Inability to change

Ability to change

Inability to sense Ability to sense

Agility requires

the ability to think

fast and to take

effective action

If the organization

requires mistake

free decisions and


opportunities may

be missed

Creating alignment by setting

clear strategic priorities… • Understanding the value of risks, potential

outcomes, and demonstrating the ability to

adjust based on assumptions and actual

experience is an essential action competency


Tools: Clear Priorities

After Action Review


• A discussion of an event that focuses on

identifying what happened, why it

happened and ways to improve.

• Developed initially in military

• “in our business we don’t always get a second

chance to learn” – Major R. Kennedy, US Army

• Now used in hospitals, business, etc…..

After Action Review • Plan…

• Prepare…

• Conduct

• What did we intend to do?

• What actually happened?

• What can we learn?

• What should we do next time?

• What should we do now?

• Follow-up

• Adjust based on AAR