"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."
Showing posts with label Strategic Visioning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Strategic Visioning. Show all posts

Saturday, April 12, 2014


One of my most favourite quotes about the future:

"No matter how much you study the future, it will always surprise you. But you don't have to be dumbfounded."

~ Kenneth Boulding (1910 – 1993), economist, educator, peace activist, poet,
religious mystic, systems scientist, and interdisciplinary philosopher;

As I interpret it, it doesn't have to stun us into inaction. We can take massive and consistent action to explore the future.

Strategic tools and strategies like environmental scanning, context mapping, graphic history, SPOT matrix, implications analysis, vulnerability audit, strategic visioning, life-scaping or future-scaping are extremely useful in helping us to understand what's going on around us and what we can do to move forward into the future.

All we need is a sense of wonder and a sense of discovery.

[The following life-scaping graphics are the handiwork of my good buddy, Dilip Mukerjea, in Mumbai, India.]

Monday, April 7, 2014


Two Heads are Better than One!

In the course of discussing a client project, my good buddy from Mumbai, India, Dilip Mukerjea and I have jointly conceived and developed this overview map, which gives a systems perspective to strategic planning.

It entails Environmental Scanning (assessing the winds of change or driving forces of 'SPECTRE'), SPOT Matrix (leveraging strengths, reducing problems, exploiting opportunities and mitigating threats), Implications Analysis and Vulnerability Audit.

It also includes Michael Porter's Five Forces Model for evaluating competition dynamics.

The systemic map now serves as a strategic execution and implementation platform for training and coaching entrepreneurs, managers, professionals.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


[This is essentially a continuation of my earlier post, pertaining to my 'Idea Map' showing the distinctive features of Dilip's programs for the educational domain.

The 'Idea Map' has been crafted in conjunction with the recent launch of a series of new programs intended for parents as well as their school-going kids/teens, under the auspices of 'The House of Creative Brains'.

It serves as an intellectual backbone to the program synopsis for both parties.]

Just like Dilip's programs for the corporate world, under the auspices of the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) for more than decade, both programs for parents & their school-going kids/teens are custom-designed to help participants towards envisioning & preparing for the future.

Dilip & I believe very strongly that what works in the corporate world works in the educational arena as well.

The world out there has changed, & we must change with it. Dilip will show participants how to do it successfully.

Besides sharing corporate lessons in change mastery, Dilip will also coach participants on how to excel in pathfinding, & plotting their career path.

Fundamentally, the program for both parents & their school-going kids/teens shares (and for teachers, too, in large measures) the same distinctive themes, with the following "exceptions":

for parents & guardians (& teachers, too):

- elaboration of the technological underpinnings of Dilip's body of work, with appropriate instructional & coaching components so that, not only they can apply the tools & metholodologies in their own life, but also coaching their own kids/teens; this is based on the principle that parents are their children's first teachers!

for their kids/teens:

- straight into immediate, multiple applications with total relevance to their school life, & of course, their life after school, with some explanations as to why they are doing it your way;

Hands-on applications, under Dilip's systematic coaching, apply to both programs, interspered by short class lectures, meaningful stories, selective video presentations (where appropriate), self-assessments, discovery games, group interactive exercises, project work, etc.

[Dilip's corporate programs in SIM, renewed for 2011, will include: 'Braindancing', 'Building Business Brainpower', 'Corporate Taleblazers', & 'Strategic Visioning with Lifescaping'.

For more information about the series of new programs under 'The House of Creative Brains', please get in touch with Ms. Faye Yeoh via her email]

Friday, August 6, 2010


Most people spend more time planning their next vacation than they do planning the rest of their lives.

Yet one of the most powerful paths to creating the future you want is choosing it.

You achieve this by setting out long-term/medium-term/short-term goals based on a compelling personal vision.

Dilip Mukerjea has synthesised a powerful visual planning methodology, which he calls "lifescaping", to show you the entire process of committing to creating, creating a vision, constructing a plan, executing the plan, celebrating your journey, & continue creating your future.

If necessary, he will be most happy to design a one-to-one coaching program with "lifescaping" for you.

Interested readers can write to him at for more information about coaching fees & scheduling.

For your information, "lifescaping" synergises all the 9 I's.

For corporations, he has a more enhanced version, which he calls "Strategic Visioning with Lifescaping". It's currently available among the suite of corporate training programs from the Singapore Institute of Management. Here's the link, from which you can download a brochure as well as a registration form.

Nonetheless, Dilip also welcomes requests for any on-site or off-site custom-engineering to suit clients' particular requirements.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Here's a quick snapshot - or sneak preview - of Dilip Mukerjea's latest masterpiece to show kids how to do their "strategic visioning". He calls it 'FLAMES Dreamscape'.

It will be an integral part of his new trilogy of books for school children, from Primary I to Secondary IV, who aim to excel in an 'Age of Transformative Productivity', an apt term coined by futurist/thinkologist Dudley Lynch.

The trilogy is scheduled to be released in March.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The process of creating a vivid picture of the future is an important step in designing a future that is better than yesterday & today. It applies both to the organisation as well as the individual.

A clear, motivating picture can inspire us to reach for the sky & overcome challenges & problems that come along.

Once created, a compelling vision will begin to impact today, as a foundation for new directions.

The brilliant neuro-scientist Dr Karl Pribram of the Stanford University has often described such a phenomenon as an "image of achievement", which in reality has powerful multi-sensory implications, especially for an individual.

By the way, he has postulated the brain model, known as 'Holographic Brain', to help substantiate his theory.

In fact, I like the way futurist Joel Arthur Barker puts it in perspective:

"The future is something you create; not something that happens to you."

”You can & should shape your own future; if you don’t, someone else surely will.”

Crafting a meaningful vision of the future - irrespective of whether it's for an organisational or personal setting - isn't always that easy or simple, but it can be done, with proper coaching & guidance.

Essentially, 'strategic visioning' takes concerted efforts to explore, think, assess, plan, organise, execute, control & monitor. Once a vision is established, one has to follow-through consistently as well as persistently.

To draw lessons from success coach Anthony Robbins, in addition to having the sensory acuity to stay focused on the defined objectives, one also needs to have the mental flexibility to make immediate adjustments & changes, if things are not working according to plan.

After all, success is always the function of making corrections.

Personally, my most profound learning experience with "strategic visioning" came from the late Datuk Eric Chia, former Chairman & CEO of the United Motor Works Group, during the early eighties, when I had just joined the group's Singapore subsidiary as a marketing manager. [When I first met him, he was 'Datuk', but later became 'Tan Sri' after I had left the group in 1987. He will always be in my fond memory as Datuk Eric Chia.]

I had already described my personal learning encounters with him in several earlier posts of my 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog.

My next most productive learning experience with 'strategic visioning' came personally from the legendary corporate strategist Jim Channon in Kona, Hawaii, during the early nineties.

The third encounter came from all the amassed learning materials of large-scale graphic facilitation guru David Sibbet of Grove Consultants, & a few others.

In a nut shell, 'Strategic visioning' is just a powerful term to denote the process of designing a compelling future, for an organisation as well as for an individual.

Dilip Mukerjea likes to call it 'Lifescaping'.

After all, as scenario strategist Arie de geus, & also author of the classic, 'The Living Company', has argued so brilliantly, an organisation is also a "living organism", metaphorically speaking.

Interestingly, as a sidetrack, our planet earth is also a "living organism". Thanks to Dr James Lovelock & his Gaia hypothesis, even though planet earth's friendly genius Bucky, or more officially addressed as R Buckminister Fuller, preferred 'spaceship' as an analogy.

Nonetheless, other experts in the field have fancy term for 'strategic visioning': futurcasting; futurescaping, visioncrafting, just to name a few.

Unlike the traditional & more mundane "strategic planning", which is a readily accepted practice among many businesspeople & professionals, 'strategic visioning' encapsulates a more cogent, cohesive content-rich, big-picture, gestalt-provoking metaphorical perspective.

Operationally, right-brain visual thinking, combined with left-brain analytical approach, plays a vital role in the 'strategic visioning' process design.

My good friend's beautiful lifescape, as recapitulated below, captures the whole essence - the "strategic heartbeat", so to speak - of 'strategic visioning' with its attendant operational intensity, extrapolating from the hindsight of the past, merging with the insight of the present & integrating with the foresight of the future.

Strategically, the purpose of 'strategic visioning' is to help one - organisation or individual - to answer the following pertinent & yet critical questions:

- what have you been?

- where are you now?

- where do you want to go?

- how do you get there?

- how do you keep going?

- how do you know when you get there?

I reckon, the most distinctive feature of 'strategic visioning', based on my own personal & professional experiences, & as compared to 'strategic planning', is the extension of the envisioning of possibilities, where one paints possible future scenarios in order to to think more deeply about the future.

The foregoing is actually a relatively new area of expertise known specifically as 'strategic or scenario exploration', which I will have to cover separately.

In fact, the more possible futures one can imagine & prepare for, the better one will be able to survive that unexpected future that will most assuredly come about.

It is my personal intention to use the next & subsequent posts to explore with readers how 'strategic visioning' actually works, by riding on Dilip's wonderful masterpiece as an intellectual platform.

[To be continued in the Next Post. The bottom image in this post is the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Friday, October 16, 2009

SPLASHSCAPE on STRATEGIC VISIONING via LIFESCAPING, another masterpiece from Dilip Mukerjea

Yesterday afternoon, Dilip & I put our heads together - we spent almost five hours at my place - to craft a lifescaping journey for businesspeople & professionals to move a wish to its fullfillment or a concept to its realisation.

The end product is a global, whole-systems, gestalt-provoking Splashscape, as Dilip likes to call it, for the strategic visioning process.

It captures all the salient elements of a strategic plan, irrespective of whether it is for business or life design, graphically & in vibrant colours, starting from the lessons of the past & current realities, through environmental scan, vulnerability & opportunity audit & envisioning possibilities, all the way to the future state, plus scenario exploration, probing critical uncertainties, as well as preparing contingency plans.

Traditionally, a strategic plan for business is often a 200-300 page document, nicely bound & always looking good on an office shelf, or as a desktop decoration, but hardly ever referred to, except when required in a mandatory annual review, once it is done.

Imagine you have your strategic plan captured in an exciting lifescaping journey on a SplashScape, with all the pertinent inputs, printed to say an exploded AO sized poster & placed on the wall.

It becomes a gallery walk every working day for the whole company - the boss, executives & all down the line, including the cleaner lady & the little guy in the guardhouse.

Remember, a picture speaks a thousand words!

Also, as much as 90% of all the information inputs that entered our mind in a lifetime are often captured via visual images.

Thus, continual monitoring of progress & growth in a strategic plan - showing the visual pathway - becomes a breeze for everyone.

Think about it, of its potency to create excitement & joy of working together to pursue a common vision.

For personal application within the context of a life design, the emotional driving forces can be captured in the SplashScape, as part of lessons from the past, just before one embarks on a lifescaping journey.

If you are keen to learn the tools of strategic visioning via 'Lifescaping', please check out the next schedule for the 'Lifescaping' seminars conducted by Dilip under the auspices of the Singapore Institute of Management.