tangents

The Art of Strategy

January 20, 2019
Thoughts by
Tyler Hagler
Trig Industrial Design Presentation Annual Meeting

Introducing Open Book Management without spreadsheets

We recently completed our annual strategy process in a way that was uniquely Trig.

Day One

Sifting through deep topics like Strengths, Weakness, and Trends (hello SWT, goodbye SWOT) can be both exciting and draining. SWT is a strategy that focuses on Strengths, Weaknesses, and Trends. The benefit of this focus over SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is that it keeps businesses from being so introspective that they lose sight of what’s going on with global trend movement.

So, after Kelly filled our heads with the dazzling trends that are sure to impact our clients in upcoming years, we took time for a creativity break. Our activity for the afternoon was to have an artist at ArtSpace teach us introductory printmaking skills and guide us through a process of drawing each other’s portraits. Being designers, we took it a bit farther than the normal corporate groups they worked with regularly. This exercise was a good way for each of us to internalize the morning’s vision inputs and be ready to converge on vision outputs through the afternoon. Big takeaways from our post-printmaking session were adding a new Core Value and establishing a long term vision based on Antifragility.

In case you’re wondering, of course we got photos of all this. Check out the printmaking party:

Artspace Entrance
Artspace Entrance
First Drawings
First Drawings
Ink on Paper
Ink on Paper

Alignment
Alignment
All Together

Day Two

Ty Kelly Trig Annual Meeting Strategy Game

The second day was about translating group vision to individual action. Taking a page from Great Game of Business, we started the planning in July with building a sales forecast for 2019. Those numbers established our operations and staffing system for the year. We took our time. We realized that spreadsheets don’t bring us joy. So we did what made the most sense: we designed our own strategy game.

Did you know that $1M in fake game money only costs $30? We played out our 2018 net income results using faux dollars and a yuuuge scroll of paper, then had a great discussion of how to balance the demands of the coming year. No spreadsheets. All fun.

Creativity break? Yes please. We played a round of the amazing card game Creature Clash, then used the cards to create and draw our own weird personas. Each of us then had time for reflection and goal setting for the year before reporting back to the team. What inspirational qualities do we think these mythical beasts would have and how can we learn from them? Take a look below. Click on the images to see which animal belongs to who.

Droantula
Ocmerpus
Hippogadillo
Cotoda
Plaingster
Armonon
Rabid Tamcerin
Anapirebear
Baretcuda

I would have marked the event a success if only 50% of the stuff we tried had worked. Each exercise we did was our first time prototyping it. The Trig team had a great time and made activity both fun and functional. This approach to bringing everyone together to map our vision and learn more about each other was an overwhelming victory. The Trig team is stronger than ever and the future looks very bright.

Tyler Hagler
Principal

As a career industrial designer and innovation practitioner, Ty Hagler has managed hundreds of new product development programs through the process of opportunity identification guided to commercialization.

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