How to Think Strategically

 In Strategic Thinking

How to Think Strategically

coursedetailsWhat is Strategic Thinking?

A mental or thinking process that is applied to achieving a goal, set of goals, or other endeavor. It is a cognitive activity that produces thought. When used in organisational strategic management, strategic thinking allows for the generation and application unique business insights and opportunities to increase a company’s competitive advantage.

You can do it individually or collaboratively with key individuals who can positively impact an organisation’s future. Group strategic thinking can create more value because it allows for a proactive creative dialog, where people gain the perspectives of others on complex and critical issues. This can be a significant advantage in fast-changing and competitive business environments.

Strategic thinking refers to deciding where you want go and what you want. This is helpful when you need to make informed decisions, solve a problem or improve a process. Strategic thinking allows you to consider the long-term benefits and potential consequences of a particular approach.

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Information is transmitted so quickly that there is little time for informed decisions. It is no stretch to say that organisations rarely have time for strategic planning. In the midst of tactical leadership and operational decision-making, strategic thinking can easily be lost.

Strategic thinking simply refers to a deliberate and rational thought process that examines the critical factors and variables that will affect the long-term success or failure of a company, team, or individual.
Strategic thinking is the careful and deliberate anticipation and exploitation of vulnerabilities and threats to protect against, and opportunities to pursue. Strategic thinking and analysis ultimately lead to a set of goals, plans and new ideas that will allow you to thrive in a changing, competitive environment. This type of thinking must take into account economic realities, market forces, as well as available resources.

Strategy requires:

1. Research

2. Analytical thinking

3. Innovation

4. Problem solving skills

5. Communication

6. Leadership skills

7. Decisiveness

Strategic Thinking: Why is it Important?

Strategic thinking allows you to think strategically on an individual level. It also helps you become more important to your company and shows that you are capable of managing greater resources.

Any organisation can be affected by the changing competitive landscape. You may need to be able to capitalise on new trends quickly or you could fall behind. You will be more adept at anticipating, forecasting and capitalising on opportunities if you incorporate strategic thinking into your daily life and work routines.

How to be Strategic

1. Find common ground around wild success.

This is easy to understand, but difficult to implement in practice. There are many reasons that they may be different. Multiple outcomes might be important to you. Many goals might be tracked. What are the most important? What happens when they are in competition? How does your success in your mission and your business impact each other? There’s work ahead if the answer is not clear for all members of your team.

2. Understand the problem you are trying to solve for each group.

Understanding the environment around the problem. Problems are not created in isolation. Many people are obsessed with solving any problem. What is their approach? What is being done well? What groups are being ignored? Are there better ways? It is foolish to begin inventing from scratch.

Understanding a problem requires understanding your competition and the systems that surround it. Research competitive analyses, jobs to-be-done and audience segmentation. Also, research marketing sizing. This research is what builds confidence in future ideas and gives us a framework for evaluating them.

3. Prioritise. Reduce.

Prioritising can be very difficult because we hate to say no. Focus is defined as saying yes to what you have to be focused on. It’s not. This means that you will not accept any of the other great ideas. Pick carefully.

Last Thoughts

Effective strategy development requires the ability to think strategically. Strategy formation is not a process that is linear or involves “going through the steps”. It is the result of a deep understanding of the constantly changing environment forces and creativity. Strategic thinking is a learned skill.

The Strategic Analysis Process allows you to assess strategy effectiveness and provides an objective view of your competitive advantages, in order to find strategic alternatives that will drive profitable growth. It is important to recognise global forces that affect different aspects of your value-chain.

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