Strategic Thinking: It’s an extremely effective and valuable tool which is fundamental to achieving success in any organisation. Studies have shown that strategic thinkers are among the most effective leaders out there – this is why it’s a topic we’re so passionate about at Feel Good Leadership. The great news is that it’s something we can all work on and develop. I believe there are many ways to encourage strategic thinking, so let’s explore a few ideas.
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According to McKinsey & Company, there are four rules to strategic thinking, namely:
- Seeking hard, fact-based and logical information.
- Questioning everyone’s unquestioned assumptions.
- You can characterise it by an all-pervasive unwillingness to expend resources.
- Usually, it’s indirect and unexpected rather than head-on and predictable.
These are a great place to start, providing insight into the thought patterns and approach of strategic thinkers. In our experience, the most successful individuals and companies take this one step further by closely linking their strategic and operational decisions – maximising their commercial know-how and delivery.
The environment we’re in and the people around us can really affect how we think and feel. Whether you prefer the outdoors, something cosy or lots of bright colour, unexpected and pivotal moments can occur in spaces where we feel most relaxed and inspired. So why not try creating your own dedicated space to encourage strategic thinking.
Connect & Collaborate
The best strategic insight can require a broad understanding of the people and decision-making right across your business. At Feel Good Leadership, the topic of organisational dynamics is always hotly debated when it’s covered in our In-House Leadership and High-Achieving Women’s Academies.
Getting a better understanding of individual and organisational needs can help you prioritise and optimise thinking. It will also pull in thoughts and ideas from others to support and steer your own. Encouraging input from your teams, and encouraging them to also think more strategically, will have the added benefit of boosting morale as they more involved and valued in the business.
Time to Reflect
It’s possible for individuals and organisations to become so focused on a strategy that operational elements suffer. And vice versa. Often there’s not enough time to reflect on the bigger picture. We know this can happen, but effective leaders make time to step back and observe, often from different perspectives, to find and maintain the right level of strategic input. These emotionally intelligent leaders understand the importance of inspiring strategic thinking to understand and be aware of what your objectives are, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself entangled with.
Think about how you approach the choices and decisions you make. Could you benefit from an inspiring, creative space and more time for strategic thinking? Pull your teams together, question the unquestioned and embrace the unexpected outcomes! As always, we welcome any thoughts or questions you may wish to share.
About the Author
Jenny Rossiter is a leading coach, author, human behaviour specialist and founder of Feel Good Leadership. With for more than 20 years of experience in business and leadership, she has delivered practical strategies and techniques to inspire new thinking and form healthy habits. Because people who feel good achieve extraordinary things.