This Months Topic: Strategic Thinking
The beginning of a new month brings a new topic to explore. This month’s topic – Strategic Thinking – is a valuable skill when building a sustainable business and your life. We will explore various aspects of strategic thinking throughout the month.
The Power of Strategic Thinking
I have seen the power of strategic thinking over and over while working with my clients and it always amazes me.
I’ve seen the power of strategic thinking open minds, bring opposing sides of an idea to neutral ground to explore possibilities, enable clients to make better decisions, and move towards their long-term goals.
I’ve seen the “Aha!” moments, smiles, and laughter when a client or client team moves from tactical thinking and worrying about the “hows” to strategic thinking and focusing on the “why.” (“Why are we considering this?” How does it align with our goals?” If it is aligned and important,
we will figure out the “hows.”) I have seen the success clients have achieved because they incorporated strategic thinking not only in their strategic planning but embraced it in their everyday business mindset.
What is Strategic Thinking?
First, let’s define “strategic” because there is a lot of confusion about that word. Think of “strategic” as something of high-value, related to the strategy of your business/life, and essential to success.
Now let’s define “thinking” because even though thinking is part of our everyday life, getting people to define it is challenging. In the case of strategic thinking, thinking means the ability to analyze and generate concepts, ideas, and plans.
Now let’s put the two together. Strategic thinking is the ability to generate and analyze concepts, ideas, and plans that are essential to your business’ long-term success (or your life.) You use strategic thinking to analyze and synthesize information to make informed decisions that align with your long-term goals.
Characteristics of Strategic Thinking
Characteristics of strategic thinking include:
- Long-term thinking
- Focusing on the destination (goal,) not the process of getting to the destination
- Gathering information, analyzing it, gaining insights from it
- Being open to ideas, even conflicting ones
- Thinking holistically
- Exploring future trends
- Questioning the current mindset or conventional thinking
- Asking “What if”
Why is Strategic Thinking Important
Strategic thinking is essential because it helps you make decisions that are aligned with your business’ mission, vision, and values. Strategic thinking helps you consider a range of options, anticipate potential outcomes, and assess risks to identify the best course of action.
It is a proactive process that involves anticipating potential problems and developing plans to address them. It is focused on achieving long-term goals and requires a broader perspective than problem-solving.
Benefits of Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinking has man benefits, including:
- Improved Decision-Making
Strategic thinking helps you make better decisions by considering all available information, analyzing options, and anticipating potential outcomes. It allows you to make informed decisions that are aligned with your organization’s long-term goals.
- Increased Innovation
Strategic thinking encourages innovation by fostering a culture of creativity and exploration. It encourages you to think outside the box, explore new ideas, and find novel solutions to complex problems.
- Enhanced Risk Management
Strategic thinking helps you identify potential risks and develop plans to mitigate them. By anticipating potential problems, you can develop contingency plans that reduce the impact of adverse events.
- Improved Resource Allocation
Strategic thinking helps you allocate resources more effectively by prioritizing initiatives that align with your organization’s goals. It allows you to focus on initiatives that have the greatest potential for success and long-term impact.
Strategic thinking is a powerful tool for making informed decisions that align with your business’ long-term goals. By considering a range of options, anticipating potential outcomes, and assessing risks, you can make decisions that have a lasting impact on your organization’s success.
Start developing your long-term mindset today by setting long-term goals and focusing on the process of achieving them. Embrace uncertainty and take calculated. Download my Guide to Strategic Planning™ to help you learn more about thinking long-term about your strategy and how the strategic planning process can help you clarify your short-term and long-term goals.