Developing Strategic Narratives

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Thinking in Services: Developing Strategic Narratives is a 4-week program through which participants will learn how to tell a story. Not just any story, but a strategic narrative that communicates policy and strategy, for their implementation through the designs of services. The primary objective of this training is to teach a design method that is useful across functions and disciplines, in the domains of sales/mission, development, procurement, and operations.

The strategic narrative is a story that communicates the design concept of a service for teams to have a clear, complete, and shared understanding of what they are implementing. Each sentence of the narrative is a declarative statement on one of the 16 elements of design found in every service. The elements relate to each other through eight story threads across a hierarchical grid called the 16x frame.

Completing a 16x frame is like solving a puzzle — a thoughtful, deliberate, and dialogic process  —  and a conscious and collaborative act of design by a group of stakeholders. To be able to do that, participants will be taught new concepts rooted in design, engineering, and economics. They will also be taught a design language through which they can help teams better communicate across the various functions and disciplines that implement change.

Participants are taught new ideas and concepts to deepen their understanding of what services are, what they can be, and why they fail. They learn to make meaningful distinctions between types of services. They also learn how to systematically construct value propositions, define key dependencies and interactions, and identify fail points. All towards learning how to solve 16x frames and generate strategic narratives.

The class will meet face-to-face one day a week. The rest of the learning will be online, and it will include reading assignments and practice exercises.

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A crash course in Belgium, followed by the a full-length program in the Netherlands this April and May (2019).