Data Collected and Organize by Context Element (Context Element Tool)



































To use this tool, treat each Element-Pressure Cell separately.  Let the steering committee composed of representative members of the enterprise—and representatives of external stakeholders such as customers—provide the core group.  Using the steering committee as the core, management might include far more stakeholder representatives to form a much larger group to include more voices.  Role-playing employees may be preferable to some or all external stakeholders to preserve privacy and confidentiality. 

It is valuable to have resource teams available to the steering group on short notice, such as legal counsel; environment, health, and safety personnel; and investor relations.  Preselected individuals or teams might also be assigned to research particular elements before convening.  Subject matter experts are valuable, but they should not dictate the conditions of dialogue.

Engage in a facilitated dialogue about each Element-Pressure Cell from the myriad perspectives of the enterprise and its stakeholders.  Generally, or each element, there will be at least one factor in each Element-Pressure Cell.  For example, in the Economic Element-Pressure Cell, there will be threats from competition, both foreign and domestic potentially.  Another threat may be a stagnant economy or an anticipated rise in interest rates or adverse currency fluctuation.  There will also be opportunities such as new products, markets, or strategic alliances.  There will be economic pressures to do certain things such as meet certain quality standards.  There will things the enterprise cannot do, which are established industry norms and standards.  There will be many, many economic factors that are uncertain.

Brainstorm and starburst each element-pressure cell.  Have a recorder capture the dialogue of the group.  No idea is unacceptable. 

After capturing all data, take adequate time to reflect on what the analyzed data—and the group dynamics.  The participants should then appoint a smaller team to synthesize what was learned and develop a report for use as a planning document.  Route drafts of the report around participants to achieve a consensus of what the enterprise’s context is.

Expect to make a more or less formal presentation of findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the decision-making committee.  The approved report then becomes a key planning document.