Peter Young, Principal of Peter W Young Consulting, recently became the first SPS Fellow in Australia. He is a consultant on strategy and leadership development, in Australia, through Asia Pacific and globally. He offers advice on big picture thinking, converting strategy into action, transformational change and leadership development, coaching and mentoring in both the private and public sectors.
Why was the SPS Fellowship important to you?
While recognition as a Fellow reflects standing and experience in strategy and planning, it also carries a certain responsibility and accountability for maintaining leadership in the profession, doing excellent work, contributing in the development of thought leadership, mentoring and coaching peers.
I first came into contact with the SPS some 18 months ago when searching globally for credentialled reference material on strategic planning and subsequently joined the SPS LinkedIn group. I have been impressed with the efforts of the SPS in nurturing thoughtful commentary from people attracted to and engaged in the role and contribution of strategy and planning within organisations. As an SPS Fellow, I have an opportunity to represent the profession in Australia, but also to extend the work of the SPS in nurturing and helping to develop others seeking to contribute in the field.
How important is the increasing professionalisation of strategy?
Organisations and communities are increasingly beset with dilemmas reflecting an escalating pace of change, increasing interconnectedness across borders and the knock-on effects of domestic, regional and global events and trends in competitive markets. These are complex matters. Strategy professionals who can think clearly, access a sophisticated toolkit and collaborate with experienced colleagues have a vital role to play in guiding and supporting people and enterprises in their search for relevance, voice and sustainability.
What are the key strategic challenges you are dealing with at the moment?
Differentiation, sustainability and social responsibility are key issues facing Australian business at the moment. Differentiation is not only a matter of ‘being different’, but is morphing into a challenge of preferentiation, being both differentiated and preferred in the marketplace. Sustainability through an era of rapid change speaks to a need for agility in business models, flexibility in organisational design and responsiveness to changing marketplaces; and social responsibility speaks to purposeful organisational activity: a contribution of consequence in community beyond the organisation itself.
What developments in strategic planning particularly interest you?
I am most interested in those elements of strategic planning that present it an as art form rather than a science. I am particularly interested in better aligning organisational ‘promise’ encapsulated in identity (who), purpose (why) and activity (what), with the ‘experience’ of that promise enjoyed by organisational stakeholders (how). There are many tools, and no shortage of quantitative and qualitative lead and lag indicators that help in steering a course through the challenge of behavioural and cultural alignment necessary to align promise with experience. Achieving alignment itself, however, is often elusive.
NB: Fellowship application is now available online, for more information please click here.