Engaging Strategy to rescue an industry

Published: 12th December, 2020
Screenshot of the board

The need to Engage Strategy is more urgent now than ever. And, getting your people on board is arguably more critical than at any time in the past decade or so (last major crisis 2008).

So says Bryce Biggs, Strategy Lead @YourBigPic. While these statements might appear self-evident there are indications that many organisations adopted panicked “slash and burn” strategies in response to the financial crunch triggered by Covid-19. Such knee-jerk responses are more likely to reduce the chance of survival rather than to enhance it.

When you are up to your armpits in alligators it’s difficult to remember that you went their to drain the swamp


Our BIG PICTURE® session on Friday the 4th of December 2020 aimed – in short order – to demonstrate best practice in developing innovative strategy ideas. We set out to do this using an industry specific case study. Also, drawing on an acknowledged industry expert in the form of Michael Tingsager as our guide. Finally, adding the expertise of all six YourBigPic Leads to the mix. This, along with the demonstrated power of the digital BIG PICTURE® board, saw us well placed for our quest.

To achieve best results the case study was shared with participants in advance. Each Lead was tasked with applying a particular BIG PICTURE® symbol in a particular section of the board. To make it even more interesting – or challenging? – each Lead wore one of the six De Bono Thinking Hats while fulfilling their role. Finally, Leads were deliberately taken outside their comfort zones e.g. our Finance Lead – Hywel Griffiths – was invited to put on the Green (Creativity) Hat in the Marketing area of the business.


How did it go? It seems from the feedback of participants – as well as that of observers – that we did a competent job. One insightful roleplayer noted that:

By forcing me to look at the challenge from a perspective I would not normally assume, I was encouraged to give my best attention to the conversation as it evolved, and I could see the situation through fresh eyes

In the event our team of Leads generated a range of possible initiatives that could be explored and developed in the search for viable strategic interventions. Interestingly, and tellingly, a key area of focus proved to be the need to make organisational purpose central in any rescue strategy.

Participants – led by Michael Tingsager – argued that Purpose should be the keystone element. A clear case perhaps of the centrality of the saying “Without Vision (Purpose) the People Perish.

Once it was clearly established that Purpose was key to any enduring way ahead the team happily set off to generate a significant number of useful ideas in a very applied and time-efficient way. An observer of the process noted that:

What amazed me on reflection was the speed, or velocity if you like, we were moving at by the end of the session. It was like once we embraced the new language we were much more efficient at getting our ideas across.



Good prepration a central role in tackling strategy issues. As one roleplayer recorded – quoting Nancy Kline –

The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first.


Enlisting an expert in the industry or sector you are addressing to add insight to the strategy debate adds significant value to the outputs generated.


Ensuring roleplayers are familiar with the demands of their role and the tools at their disposal greatly speeds up the rate of idea generation as well as their quality.


Moving outside your comfort zone in addressing a crisis situation can add new thinking while affirmng bedrock value.


In the closing stages of the session Michael assisted us to begin ordering the ideas generated – helping to ensure that the Gems of ideas bubbled to the top. In a full-on – possibly half-day – session the principles of the Laws of Engagement could have been emphasised. The resulting Ideas and Gems of ideas would have clearly demonstrated the value of quality use of time to generate valuable Ideas – or gems – going forward.


The ‘webinar’ word doesn’t really describe what it is we do with our time in sessions. We love a conversation where everyone has the chance to contribute.

Participants are provided with the means to make connections thus drawing attention to the conversation that is going on around.

It’s how we roll!


Please do ask us to help you achieve this same impact in your organisation. We can deliver this activity for you and at the same time upskill your team to take over the delivery. You can weave this into your Strategy-related activities which means you’re paying once for resources and deploying them many times across your organisation.

Find out more about our approach for Engaging Strategy. You can have a go yourself by printing and writing on the resource within the brochure you can download. The stuff we care about is all over our YouTube channel @YourBigPic. I would love to take you through a taster of BIG PICTURE® in a Webinar you can sign-up for here.

Thanks for reading!