strategic dialogue for clarity

Developing a Strategy? Use the AtwoB ...

A Strategic Conversation is the art of talking through problems in an open, free flowing dialogue using our AtwoB process. We believe that  in most cases the answer is ‘in the room’. The goal is to guide your team’s natural intelligence and focus it into solutions that make a difference…

The AtwoB approach provides room for both analysis and creativity. It helps people create future focused, innovative and executable strategies, whilst providing a simple and effective tool for communicating your strategy once it has been designed. 

We have run strategic dialogues in a variety of organisations large and small, public, private and community. It is great for strategic planning and for helping get your team on the same page with a tough problem.

Download the AtwoB guidesheet.


Where are we? Understand the context and intent of the change. What are the Risks, Issues and opportunities? What’s our biggest challenge?How to do it? Innovative strategies, business models, concepts, ideas.What to do, by When and by Who. Projects, Accountabilities and Timeframes. What key work do we need to do to get from A to B and how should we organise ourselves to get it done.Where we’re going? Imagine and visualise a positive future. Create a Vision, Mission, Values and Benchmarks.

The Current Position
Understand the context and intent of the change. Summarise the Problem Statement via a Focusing Question

Ask questions like:

  • What works/doesn’t work with  the ‘system’ 
  • How do customers/users feel?
  • What could really be a threat to our success?
  • Why are we ‘uneasy’ about the current situation?
  • What are the strategic challenges facing our/your business?

Use techniques such as:
  • SWOT, Porters 5 Forces Model and other familiar analytical models
  • The I WHAT I SO WHAT I NOW WHAT I framework
  • History Map
  • Map the current Customer Experience
  • Frame problem as a Focusing Question or Design Challenge
  • Story-telling
  • JOHARI Window

The Key Strategic Themes
Now we develop innovative strategies, business models, concepts or ideas that chart our course

Ask questions like:

  • What capability do we need to build to achieve our ‘B Vision’
  • What are the emerging strategic themes?
  • Do we have a central idea or Hypothesis?
  • What do we have to be exceptional at doing?
  • What can we Eliminate, Reduce, Raise or Create?
  • What are the enabling processes?
  • What are our big ideas/innovations/reforms?
  • Does this address our focusing question?

Use techniques such as:
  • Brainstorming/Ideation Workshops
  • Six Thinking Hats
  • Value Chain Mapping


The Project of Work
This involves identifying Projects and Tasks and setting Accountabilities and Timeframes to keep us on track

Ask questions like:

  • How can we prototype quickly and cheaply?
  • What resources will it take to get there?
  • How will we ensure success?
  • How will we know we are on track?
  • What are the key milestones?
  • How and when will we report our program?
  • How will we monitor the customer’s experience of these changes?
  • What are our big ideas/innovations/reforms?
  • Does this address our focusing question?

Use techniques such as:
  • The CSTM (Clear, Specific, Time-bound, Measurable) framework to flesh out initiatives
  • Stakeholder Matrix (eg RACI)

The future position
Imagine & visualise a positive future. We create a Vision, Mission, Values & Benchmarks that help set the point on the horizon

Ask questions like:

  • Do we have a future?
  • What is our vision (or aspirational goal) for our future?
  • What will our stakeholders say, feel, do and what meaning will we create for them?
  • What will the front page of the newspaper say about us?
  • What will our competitors say about us?
  • How will we measure success when we arrive?
  • What are our foundation stones?

Use techniques such as:
  • Picture Cards or other visual stimuli
  • Use 'metaphors' or 'analogies' to represent the ideal future
  • Imagine success in terms of a future legacy