Everywhere you are hearing, “Let’s get strategic in our policies and thinking”. Sounds good but do you really know what it means or how to do it? Let’s talk turkey here. It is easy to realize that there is something to this way of thinking and that it is important to do it. You look around and know that you are out of your league on this one. It is not self explanatory. Where do you start? How do you accomplish this feat of strategic thinking thing? How do you overcome your obstacles, identify your hot issues, hurdles or opportunities? Can it really propel your business to the next level? Is your business really ready for this –Strategic Thinking?
Can you answer any of the above questions? If not, don’t despair. It just takes a little research and your research starts here. I am here for you. Let’s get to it!
There is really a procedure to gaining the skills necessary to think strategically. It is a skill that certainly can be learned with a bit of effort. Let’s take a look at the steps to make YOU a strategic thinker. What are they and can you do it? Of course you can. I will make it easy for you.
- What if you anticipated what’s headed your way? What is in your future? What are others doing that may affect your business? Can you see what is going on around you? Are you looking around the corners for any hint of what might be on the horizon?
- What if you thought critically? Question everything. Look at all the root causes for any problems. Challenge all mindsets and beliefs. Don’t leave a stone unturned. Look at all the policies and think about it from all points of view.
- What you interpreted your findings carefully. Don’t rush this process. Look for patterns in several forms of data. Seek others to do the same. Next, question and test all the findings. Measure it against old assumptions. Test your findings.
- What if decided based on what you have learned? You have to be able to make the decision with confidence based on what you know. It doesn’t have to be perfect and can be adjusted later. It does need to be a firm decision so that your colleagues feel your confidence.
- What if you aligned the team? Feedback or dialogue from your team is necessary to gain their buy in. They need to understand why and how decisions are made. Listen to them and bring up the unspoken or tough problems. This will gain support.
- What if you learned. Learn from your mistakes. The feedback you receive your team and from your customers is valuable. Use it. When you learn that you have made a mistake, talk about it, admit it and adjust immediately. This will inspire confidence from your team. Celebrate the right decisions and the near misses with the entire team as well.
As you can see, there is a process.
Is it easy? Not always! It takes practice and making adjustments along the way. With practice it will get easier and become a great habit.
Is it necessary? Always! You want to keep your company moving ahead of others and it is imperative that you do everything to get the edge on the competition.
Is it productive? Yes, definitely! You will find your team will begin to think as you, their leader, thinks. And of course that will move your company to the next level.
With Strategic Thinking, it is my belief that your company will see a whole new horizon. Best of luck in your new way of thinking—Strategically!!