They establish why you do what you do and what you stand for. It’s important that those decisions are made in a rational, level-headed state of mind, weighing all the options fairly. We probably do quite a bit of strategic thinking in all aspects of our lives, but it's necessary to put it on a formal level in order to really take action. In order to be strategic, you need a solid understanding of the industry context, trends, and business drivers. Collaborating on strategic challenges and opportunities breathes life into the organization and keeps teams functioning more effectively. Block out time and a conducive space for thinking - … Even with comprehensive training, there will be many times where you will be put on the spot to think analytically and the right or wrong answer could make a difference with regard to […] During the advanced phase of industrialisation in Germany at the end of the 19th century it would have been hardly destined for success to expect proactive thinking from workers at the production line. When the full picture comes into view, people are better able to plan for the future, and planning for the future is the mark of a strategic leader. It helps you think logically and take the most direct route towards achieving your objective. Values are enduring, passionate, and distinctive core beliefs, and they’re an essential part of developing your strategy. Developing strategy takes time and resources. Critical Thinking is a domain-general thinking skill. Critical thinkers are constantly curious about all kinds of things in life, and tend to have a wide range of interests. They have a broad view and interpret the road signs and indicators they see, using the insight they gain to actively shape the future. And they often have more expectations towards their work than to get money into their account at the end of the month. Part of the strategic planning process involves engaging the community and other stakeholders in feedback sessions. (Plan) Perhaps the most obvious reason to engage in corporate strategic planning is that it provides direction and focus by way of a written document. What processes, resources, knowledge, skills, and abilities will my team need to be successful over the long run? There is no smoke without fire, and the buzz around this skill is completely reasonable. So, if you want to develop strategic thinking at the workplace, just start comparison in a critical manner. Organizations want leaders who can think deeply, and strategic leaders know that the best way to dig down to the heart of issues and situations is by asking useful questions such as. At FutureGov we’re not in the business of mobilising armed forces, but we do have to make sure we help to set the direction for building a service or an organisation. Having strategical thinking is all about your ability to analyze and evaluate a situation accurately. What should we not do? So, […] While the need for and benefits of critical thinking is clear, there’s another aspect to these skills that companies often don’t address. Strategic management isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. "We need strategic leaders!” is a pretty constant refrain at every company, large and small. So what, exactly, does an alert and aware leader do to gain this valuable insight? Posted on 18 March 2016 by Milon Gupta. To take the example of looking for a place to situate your new business, don’t just go with your gut. And it is wrong in today’s business environment. Critical Thinking: Its Importance and Ways to Develop It. It also does the following: Helps build your competitive advantage Communicates your strategy to staff People often approach a problem with a preconceived solution in mind. What do we want to achieve? Strategic planning, then, is the roadmap from where we are to where we want to be, the answer having appeared in our thinking process. Strategic Thinking: Taking Critical Thinking to the Next Level. Being able to step back and view your world from farther off gives you a strategic advantage because you can clearly see what you need to change in response to the hazards that are lurking, as well as the rich opportunities that are available for capture. As a shaper of the future, it’s your job to discover ways to be distinctive and add ongoing value to the organization. See our pages: Critical thinking is one of the most important cognitive skills that you can develop. What do we need to do to get there? Specifically, this means that strategy workshops should not only be performed for the top management level. Through research, discussion, and goal setting, the strategic planning process helps you and your employees understand the current status of your small business and where it’s headed in the future. This requires more strategic thinking at all levels or organizations to be successful,” Weed stresses. Strategic thinking is often looked upon as something that only certain people can do. The ability to think clearly and rationally is important whatever we choose to do. Strategic Thinking is not a new way of thinking; many successful large organisations have used these practices to establish a clear and precise path on which to carry out their vision. Employees could intelligently and self-controlled adapt corporate strategy in their work area to the operational realities. What does it mean to have a strategic mindset? Today, in developed industrial nations like Germany there are predominantly well qualified employees, who are aware of their qualification. Entrepreneurs, managers, and business owners alike constantly need to make on-the-spot decisions. Part 3. Lead effectively. Below are three additional benefits that result when strategic thinking guides and informs the decisions of you and your team: 1. The following three examples help answer why critical thinking is important in business: Your email address will not be published. If you can master this quality, you, your team, and the organization are all more likely to experience greater growth and success. They seem to recognize that being attuned to the various forces working for or against them reveals valuable information about the strategic opportunities they are pursuing and the obstacles they may face. Organization-wide goals are annual statements that are specific, measurable, attainable, responsible and time bound. Values ar… This can be prevented by engaging employees at all levels in the strategy process. Strategic planning, then, is the roadmap from where we are to where we want to be, the answer having appeared in our thinking process. A strategic management course from a top business management school will help you with the following:. Strategic planning's role is "to realise and to support strategies developed through the strategic thinking process and to integrate these back into the business". Nobody wants to risk overlooking something crucial. Why Managers Need to Think Strategically Jan 24, 2019. That’s why we don’t buy it when someone says he or she isn’t strategic. Why strategic thinking is so important . The rapid pace of change can easily lead to a situation, where the corporate strategy from the beginning of the year has become obsolete at the end of the year through new developments. In my view there are five substantial reasons for this: Already in medium-sized enterprises processes heavily based on the division of labor have reached a degree of complexity that neither a CEO nor department heads alone could understand and centrally plan. “Strategic thinking helps individuals focus, prioritize, and be more proactive in addressing specific issues and situations,” Marsden explains. Here are three of many reasons: 1)Provides a focus. Questions can be the catalyst for strategic inspiration because they provoke deep insight. It is an important task involving all the basic management functions—planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Cara has over 15 years of experience in business and product management. But we do recommend that you take some time to pause and shift into a strategic frame of mind so you can also fulfill your longer-term responsibilities. Critical thinking means constantly asking questions and wanting to know more, about why, what, who, where, when, and everything else that can help them make sense of a situation or concept, never taking anything at face value. Poor planning is often worse than no planning at all. Generally, the assumption still prevails that strategy and strategic thinking are an exclusive domain of a company’s executives. This is usually because this approach worke… … Leaders need to also shift with these changes—or run … Strategic thinking is not a one-time event, it is a continuous journey. That’s what strategic thinking requires you to do. Why Critical Thinking Is Important: Take the Next Step. It is about "capturing what the manager learns from all sources (both the soft insights from his or her … In strategic planning as well as in strategy implementation it is necessary to have not just people who work, but also people who think. 7. Look at things differently and see what other people miss. While some people hold the specific job title of “strategic planner” (or “strategic planning associate” or “strategic planning manager”), there are other jobs that require strategic planning skills even though “strategic… Aside from keeping your company on an even keel, mastering the art of strategic thinking maximises your efficiency and strengths as a business leader. Focus on developing the skills that … There are many good reasons to promote strategic thinking not only for executives but also for employees at all levels. The Importance of Developing Strategic Thinking Skills. The term strategic planning refers to a coordinated and systematic process for developing a plan for the overall direction of your endeavor for the purpose of optimizing future potential. If, in addition, there is a corporate culture in which proactive thinking is not rewarded, that can lead to frustration, and in extreme cases to passive resistance against the plans from the top. If the horizon of employees ends at the borders of their own work area, fast adaptations are hard to implement. Create Cross-disciplinary and Innovative Teams They work hard to stay informed and tap into valuable sources of information that give them clues about where they need to go and what they need to avoid. In the meantime the work processes and skills profiles have changed considerably. When applying critical thinking in business, a leader must use logic to identify, understand, analyze and solve problems. For example, you could study overhead costs such as printing, looking for the core reasons why your … Maybe the person isn’t displaying the characteristics of strategic thinking. So why is strategic planning critical in education? To develop and improve strategic thinking in your organization – start with managers at all levels! An executive who wastes this huge potential of qualification and motivation runs the risk that employees go inter inner resignation with the effect that the company loses competitiveness. Business people can become more proficient at strategic thinking skills through using strategic thinking exercises and tools. This assumption is historically well founded. In many companies this doesn’t work properly, with the result that the board is every year surprised why the employees don’t properly execute their ingenious corporate strategy. Yes, the first clue on how to develop strategic thinking skills is right there in its name. Typically, the plan is organization-wide or focused on a major function, such as a […] For a profit-making business, this process involves many questions: What’s the mission and purpose of the business? We’ll then look at the relationship to strategic management. Its about achieving the … Strategic planning is a process for determining and aligning a business’s vision with its goals and objectives, which includes the development of a strategic plan. Leaders need to also shift with these changes—or run … ... Then, they develop alternative courses of action in case an anticipated change does occur. When leaders have the discipline to actively disengage themselves from their daily demands and activities—even for a short time—they are able to focus their creativity, energy, and attention on things of longer-term significance. We must look within for a deeper understanding of who we are before we can adequately address the needs of our students.” 9 Developing intercultural competence involves a transformation in thinking; it is an ongoing, highly rewarding process. They are unafraid of looking at the sometimes-harsh realities of their situation. Project management and project planning are also helpful skills for both managers and leaders. Many successful companies, like for example Alphabet (formerly know as Google) or Lego, have discovered how important it is to create and sustain agile organisational structures. ; Set up realistic business objectives. Strategic thinking involves making a series of decisions about what actions the company intends to take to become more successful. The promotion of strategic thinking includes the creation of adequate structures and an open corporate culture. Employees, on the other hand, are frustrated by decisions, which are frequently decoupled from their reality at the operational level. I often hear people define strategy as the ability to have vision and long-term thinking versus short-term thinking. Strategic awareness boils down to having the ability to do four things: If you want to develop a strategic mindset competency, work on making these four traits habits in your life. Take our course in strategic project management to gain the knowledge you need to be a skilled project manager. Somehow, the idea of ‘strategy’ and ‘strategic thinking’ has developed a mystic aura. Leaders need the input, ideas, and commitment of every team member to solve problems, spot opportunities, make effective decisions, and find productive ways of executing on critical strategic initiatives. Cara Ong. It could be in the planning phase as “sensors” for market developments or in the implementation phase as proactively thinking “intrapreneurs”. However, an agile organisation can only function with employees who think strategically. Strategic management is what managers do to develop the organization's strategies. How do you develop your capacity for foresight, thereby improving your critical thinking more broadly? Even though leaders are often rewarded and recognized for moving quickly and taking action, strategically agile leaders also have to be able to pause and step back. Some competitive secrets (for example, about products under development) may need to remain hidden, but employees need a broad base of information if they are to become strategic leaders. Taking the time to … This way less of the mistakes and more of the satisfied output would be there. Strategic leadership doesn't come easily in most organizations. She is a highly organized, results-driven, strategic executive and entrepreneur with a positive attitude towards work and life.Cara is passionate about helping organizations find effective solutions and providing forward-thinking strategies to help them achieve their goals of operational efficiency. By being informed, they have a complete view of their situation, understand the issues they need to consider, and collect and use information about the things that will influence their goals and strategies in either a positive or a negative way. The effective performance of your business will require solid management: the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. And while this is a good skill to have in many situations, it can be overused to the detriment of our teams’ and organizations’ long-term success. Strategic thinking is a powerful and invaluable skill, one that leads to greater chances of success in whatever professional and personal projects you're involved in. In order to further strengthen an organization’s strategy, one must be able to apply strategic thinking; the act of generating and applying unique opportunities and that allows an organization to create a competitive advantage. Start a conversation about the things influencing your operation and get as many insights as you can. We became a far more cohesive and productive team.” These are just a few of the personal development skills that can benefit your life and your work. Strategic thinking is a skill set that can be applied to any complex problem solving process. Many of these new developments will be first registered at the touchpoints, where company and customers come into contact. We probably do quite a bit of strategic thinking in all aspects of our lives, but it's necessary to put it on a formal level in order to really take action. A strategic plan formalizes the school district’s mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives. Error: Please enter a valid email address, Error: Password and password confirmation do not match, Strategic Leadership Training and Development, Strategy Development Processes and Services, Leadership Development: Training & Workshops, Customized Leadership Development Programs, Supervisory Development and Training Programs, Large Group Learning Events & Key Note Speaking, Learning and Development Advisory Services, Professional Accreditation and Continuing Education Units, The 50 Most Socially-Shared Learning & Development Blogs, The 100 Best Leadership Blogs Based on Social Shares, The Top 50 Most Socially-Shared eLearning Blogs, Which Comes First Coaching or the Need for Coaching? … However, despite the knowledge about the topic, questions still remain. Without gathering this intelligence, it is difficult to know where you are headed and what you may face along the way. How is my organization changing, and what is it trying to achieve. However, in most cases executives are not at the touchpoints, but rather normal employees, like salespeople or customer service staff. Henry Mintzberg wrote in 1994 that strategic thinking is more about synthesis (i.e., "connecting the dots") than analysis (i.e., "finding the dots"). As leaders, we are trained to think fast and take quick action. The job of executives has become much more challenging and demanding since the times of the economic miracle in the 1950s. A plan spells out where an organization is going over the next year or more and how it’s going to get there. They are the beliefs that guide the conduct, activities and goals of your organization. That responsibility can’t be ignored for the sake of meeting today’s demands alone. How is my operating environment changing, and what does that mean for me? It began with us thinking about what is the right thing to do in a business context. Researchers show that strategic thinking is one of the most valuable assets of a leader. Only if you consider the big picture in your operational work, the gap between corporate strategy on executive level and strategy implementation on the operational level can be closed. The previous experien… An HR strategy supports the business strategy, as do all the other functional strategies (especially R&D, Manufacturing, Marketing/Sales). We are seeing more of a focus on value-based care, complex case management, health care outcomes, patient satisfaction, and much more. When at the end of the 19th century the term strategy, together with strategic concepts, entered companies, the meaning was basically similar: the boss thought, planned, and gave orders, the employees executed. Strategic thinking is all about creating connections between people, ideas, and plans. Leaders have choices about how to work with their own team and other teams across the business. Think of this characteristic of strategic leadership as “mental radar” that sweeps continuously across the spectrum of your world. (Vision) How are we going to get there? integrative framework for decisions especially about direction of the business and resource utilization It makes strategy part of everyone’s job. By weighing the risks you will be able to evaluate what is right and what is wrong. To me, strategy isn’t about long term versus short term. Open-minded approach. Innovation isn’t solely represented by new devices, ideas or methods, but also by the process of uncovering new ways to do things. Let’s face it: Most leaders have an addiction—to activity. A strategic plan is a management tool that C-level managers need to master and is for established businesses and business owners who are serious about growth. “Your world” might include your team, functional areas, the organization, your industry, the market, the technology you use, and so on. Strategic Thinking: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Develop It Published on August 8, 2017 August 8, 2017 • 52 Likes • 1 Comments What can I do differently now that will produce a payoff in the future? Here are a few things you’ll need to do to develop your strategic thinking: Open your mind to possibilities. Because the work processes were designed in a way that it was not desirable and necessary. Why Is Strategic Thinking Important to the Success of Business?. By improving the quality of both your decisions and your thoughts, critical thinking can significantly improve your life, both personally and professionally. Today here and there we can hear about critical thinking and its importance. But it didn’t really start as a strategy. We like the phrase, “The things we don’t know tend to control us.” Strategic leaders take this idea to heart.