Strategic Thinking is a process that defines the manner in which people think about, assess, view, and create the future for themselves and others. It is a comprehensive way of understanding how individuals, teams and organizations work. Strategic Thinking is future oriented.
Strategic Thinking can be used at any level in your organization: executive, middle management or staff. It can be applied to work or your personal life. It allows you to be creative, to see both the big picture and the details (without getting stuck in the details) and also assess the unintended consequences, like potential impacts on other teams and projects.
Strategic Thinking includes creating a direction for the organization, as well as, managing the implications of actions at an operational level. It challenges conventional thinking to foster improved decision making throughout the organization.
Henry Mintzberg wrote in 1994 that strategic thinking is more about synthesis (i.e., “connecting the dots”) than analysis (i.e., “finding the dots”).
Our world is increasingly more complex. We need this outcome-oriented approach to thinking to help increase our strategic skills to deal with this complexity and, thus, become better leaders and individual contributors. Everyone needs Strategic Thinking to survive in our fast paced, constantly changing world!
Use Systems Thinking to be a strategic thinker.