Meaningfulness, significance, and direction

As I mentioned last week, I’m busy working on a leaner, fitter version of Leading with Outcomes: Foundation. This updates the first self-paced study module at the Agendashift Academy and also makes it available in the form of interactive training, productised for use by other trainers.

Since last week’s announcement, I have renamed the middle session (of three). On reflection, “Aspiring to performance” seemed a bit generic – clichéd even. Its replacement, “Meaningfulness, significance, and direction” emerges quite naturally from the content – not summarising it exactly, but those three qualities do correspond nicely to the Ideal, Obstacles, Outcomes model – the IdOO (“I do”) pattern that is introduced (through hands-on practice) in session 1 and further developed in chapter 2 (again through practice).

The core of the model goes like this:

  • Ideal – envision a compelling future
  • Obstacles – identify what’s in the way of what we want
  • Outcomes – look beyond those obstacles to something better

As you learn to move easily between those elements, properly contextualise those conversations, and organise what they produce into something coherent, you’re getting better at strategy. This can be “everyday” strategy – quick conversations to clarify the thinking around everyday bits of work – or as the overall arc of the “set piece” strategy occasion – participatory strategy reviews and the like. It’s even a model for leadership!

And so to meaningfulness, significance, and direction. Not a new model, but capturing some of the intent behind the IdOO pattern and Agendashift more broadly:

  • Meaningfulness – outcomes not as metrics or targets, but things meaningful to us, identified and articulated through authentic dialogue. Often, we set this up in the Ideal part with stories of people making meaningful progress.
  • Significance – instead of falling into the trap of solving problems just because they are there, choosing our obstacles for what they represent and taking the trouble to frame them carefully
  • Direction – our direction is set by the outcomes we’re choosing to pursue, not by monolithic solutions (perhaps sold to us with outcomes), or by plans whose all-consuming execution comes at the expense of what’s meaningful and significant. Outcome-orientation, in other words.

As well as re-recording the self-paced study version of Foundation, I’m also hosting it in the form of participatory online training over the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of November. All sessions 14:00-16:00GMT, over Zoom, and highly hands-on. Price: just £195 + VAT. Ping us for a discount code if:

  • You have an Academy subscription
  • You’re an Agendashift partner
  • You’re an employee of a government, educational, or non-profit organisation, or are currently unemployed – we’re glad to offer significant discounts here
  • You completed September’s TTT/F or are booked on December’s – for you it’s free

Book here:

And if interested in teaching it yourself or in facilitating the related workshops:



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