Strategic Interviews are one-to-one discussions that are held with the people who are involved with the strategy development process and/or have knowledge that is important to the process.
The interview takes the form of a structured discussion between the individual and an independent facilitator and are designed to obtain information that is pertinent to the strategic future of the organisation.
This purpose of the interviews is to uncover information about the individual’s ideas, issues, opinions, goals and aspirations, as well as their fears and concerns regarding the current and future state of the business. As such, they can be a powerful tool in the strategy development process and are very useful when you want to engage the key people in your organisation in strategy creation and implementation.
The nature of the interview process means that you get the views of individuals and they will naturally tend to stay within their own sphere of knowledge and experience so they will give a lot of detail about specific areas of the business and not much detail for areas of the business that they are more as familiar with. Obtaining a pen portrait of each participant can help ensure that you are able to engage with each person in a way that is most likely to obtain good information that is relevant to the strategy creation process. In addition, you should pay attention to where these interviews are held to ensure that the interviewee is comfortable ad that there are no interruptions.
When we use interviews we capture the information as a causal map which is entered into our computer system for analysis. One advantage of this is that it enables us to combine the maps of the interviews from all of the people involved.
This then becomes a very powerful tool vs strategy workshops as it creates a strategic model that covers a wide area of the business with a lot of detail while strategy workshops do not give the same depth information.