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Strategic thinking is a critical skill…

Strategic thinking is an extremely effective, valuable tool, that shows your thinking is future oriented and it is a must have for any current leader.

Everyday leaders encounter challenging and complicated circumstances daily.  In order to deal with these situations successfully, it requires the ability to develop strategies for the future while taking from your experiences, skills, intellect, instinct, and ingenuity.

Managers who think strategically continually reevaluate their business environment.  It is important to assess at a corporate level by considering the company's clients, competition, and industry trends.   Then at the department level, to study the unit’s internal challenges and policies.  Afterwards, you need to collect and evaluate all-encompassing information to consider the changes that must be made in order to produce the preferred results for the future.

Strategic thinking is without a doubt an ongoing process.

It is not instinctive and it is not easy, but you can develop your strategic thinking abilities by practicing the following:

  1. Be Curious:  Develop a genuine interest in what take place within your company, department, and industry.
  2. Be Flexible:  Make an effort to try a new approach or technique when new information indicates the need to do so.
  3. What’s forthcoming:  Make sure you consider your company’s operational situation that could change in the coming months and years.  Make sure to stay observant for opportunities that may turn out to be beneficial in the future, as well as warning signs that may be approaching.
  4. Positive outlook:  Consider challenges as opportunities, and envision that success is always possible.
  5. Openness:  Embrace new ideas from others, including outside participants such as customers, merchants, or business partners.
  6. Self- development:  Continuously work to expand your expertise.  This will help you to see associations and repetitions across unrelated disciplines and subjects.

Research has shown that strategic thinking might be the most important component in leadership.   As managers we need to make informed decisions by evaluating situations and producing solutions while analyzing possibilities and consequences.

As supervisors, we can develop more effective strategic thinking skills by using any opportunity to better understand ourselves.  It’s about how you approach complex problems, and how to go about making decisions.  This understanding of yourself is key, as this information establishes the foundation for developing your strategic thinking skills necessary in your corporate environment.

The more you understand yourself, the more control you have over both the progress, and the products you produce.

Remember, as you continually develop yourself as a strategic thinker, you will find you’ve acquired the skills to solve the complex, fast changing, unstructured problems you will undoubtedly encounter in your business.

How do you practice strategic thinking in your company?

Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC.  We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition.  We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization. www.55Questions.com

Follow Dave on twitter https://twitter.com/55Questions


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