Strategic Diversity: Powered by AEM Cube

Strategic Diversity: Powered by AEM-Cube

Strategy, growth, and innovation are team sports, not solo ventures. Complex undertakings like these require a variety of ideas, mindsets, and areas of expertise to achieve results. This required variety doesn’t rest within the mind or experiences of an individual. Groups, organizations, and even groups of organizations have a much better chance of designing the complex solutions needed to address complex challenges. We call this kind of diversity, which encompasses individuals with different cognitive approaches, strategic diversity.

In partnership with our colleagues at Human Insight, Ltd., we can measure strategic diversity at the individual, team, and organization levels using an assessment tool called the AEM-Cube ™.  The acronym “AEM” is derived from the methodology’s three core dimensions – Attachment, Exploration, and Management of Complexity. The ‘Cube’ in the name refers to the fact that these dimensions can be portrayed in a three-dimensional space.

Individuals and teams charged with growth transformation challenges as well as those working on strategy design and execution can benefit greatly from a Strategic Diversity Assessment: organizational and political leaders, and teams, management and executive teams, teams involved with mergers and acquisitions, boards of directors, and teams of public officials designing or executing complex collaborations. Many organizations find an enterprise-wide assessment helpful.

Key Concepts

Attachment: this dimension of the AEM-Cube focuses on our attachment to people and things. All of us are attached to both, but each of us is usually more attached to one or the other – those with whom we get things done (people) or how we do what needs to get done (tools, technologies, subject matter expertise, etc.)

Exploration: this dimension identifies the stages of growth and innovation where we contribute most: the earlier stages of the classic “s-curve” (discovery and exploration), the later stages (optimization and stability), or somewhere between the two.

Management of Complexity: this dimension helps us understand how we deal with complexity. Some of us are integrators, seeing the interconnectedness of a complex system. Others seek to gain a deep understanding of a more discreet part of the overall system. Each of us is somewhere on this continuum of managing complexity.

The Agile Strategy Lab has a number of team members certified in administering and interpreting the AEM-Cube with both individuals and groups. Coming soon: an online course in partnership with Human Insight to pursue certification yourself.

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