Strategic thinking is a mindset or way of thinking about a business or organization. It is a process whereby you learn how to make your business vision a reality by developing your abilities in team work, problem solving, and critical thinking. Strategic thinking is the process whereby you examine the implications of your choices and analyze the options available to you before making a decision.
Strategic thinking is applicable and useful in a wide range of situations, including developing strategies for a company, making a business or personal decision, or just understanding a situation. Strategic thinking is marked by beginning with a focus on the Vision and Objectives for the future and then working backwards to the present situation. Without comprehensive Strategic Thinking the organization risks making quick decisions that lack the creativity and insights derived through a Strategic Thinking process.
The purpose of Strategic Thinking is to create a strategy that is a coherent, unifying, integrative framework for decisions especially about direction of the business and resource utilization. The main purpose of strategic thinking is about how to outmaneuver your competitors in strategic planning.
Strategic thinking is an attempt to think through as many “results” that come from our actions that defeat our actions. Strategic thinking is a process in which significant issues and decisions are considered in a special way. Strategic Thinking is a planning process that applies innovation, strategic planning and operational planning to develop business strategies that have a greater chance for success.
Why is it so much easier to just do and do, manage crises, put out fires, without thinking, planning, and making everyday action purposeful?
If you aspire to improve operational performance, the process of strategic thinking must become second nature to you. Outcome-driven thinking is the process of approaching every interaction with a desired result in mind. It focuses on long term rather than short term, Involves systems thinking, and focusing on the big picture, NOT just the small one Strategic thinking focuses on identifying leverage (how can we use what we have to maximum advantage)
In its highest form, strategic thinking is a distinct perspective that helps you break down complicated processes into easily manageable pieces that can be arranged to present a clear set of alternatives. The purpose of the process is not to have you categorize thoughts you already have, but to organize them in a systematic fashion so that new thoughts can emerge.
The word strategy is derived from the Greek strategia, which referred to that which is “general. Strategy is one of the most over-used and yet misunderstood words in business. The military theorist, von Clausewitz (1832), said strategy is “the use of the engagement (a set of actions) for the purpose of the war.
In strategy, we are trying to convert information to knowledge to a decision about a course of action in the future. Hence, even during the implementation of strategy, we cannot escape the continuing need for thinking.
Understanding the Situation
Strategic thinkers develop an understanding of what needs to be accomplished by their work teams and strive to influence the way both senior managers and line staff view work priorities. It requires patience and an understanding of organizational dynamics. In its most basic sense, strategic thinking is about analyzing opportunities and problems from a broad perspective and understanding the potential impact your actions might have on others.
Strategic thinking must be used to improve understanding of the environment and the options available to the business. It involves an understanding of how the situation will change over time and the importance of maneuvering for superior position and flexibility to deal with turbulence and to keep ahead of the competition. Gaining employee understanding of how the work they perform links to the realization of the departmental strategies and the corporate strategic plan. Working on strategy is not so very difficult if you focus on understanding what you are trying to achieve.
Strategic thinking is often described as reflective dialogue about the future so that one can avoid pitfalls as well as take advantage of opportunities. Strategic thinking is more about effectiveness and considers transforming change, while strategic planning centers on achieving greater efficiencies through incremental change. Strategic thinking is understood as a deliberate and creative process as well as the resulting state of mind. Strategic Thinking allows proactive thinking beyond your current activities and traditions deals with change positively by responding to it effectively involves making decisions that consider changes or anticipated changes in the environment Strategic Thinking is not a one shot deal a box of tricks or bundle of techniques a quick fix to solve immediate problems Without comprehensive Strategic Thinking the organization risks making quick decisions that lack the creativity and insights derived through a Strategic Thinking process.