Strategic thinking capabilities are a huge asset to an organization. Finding good internal strategic thinkers and leveraging them in our planning projects significantly strengthens the strategic plan our clients adopt. Maybe you are just the stimulating thinker that is needed to produce your organization's next great plan.
Here are five ways you can tell if you are a good strategic thinker.
- Your thinking begins with the end. Your mind naturally starts with questions like:
- What does success look like?
- Where do we ultimately want to go?
- What is the ideal outcome?
- What is the result we are striving to achieve?
- You are a strong believer in collaboration, but only when the process to collaborate serves the end goal. You can become intolerant of group processes where participation is determined by reporting relationships or organizational structure. You may become cranky and disengaged if you have been asked to participate in a process designed based on the “this is the way we have always done it” model. You always push for changing the group process to fit the ultimate work product.
- You are passionate about what your enterprise does, whom it competes against and what might influence your “market.” You are continually studying your market – opting to eat alone and read the trade publications once a week or sitting in bed with your laptop open to the latest blog post from a competitor. You are naturally curious about your market and what is happening in it.
- You think about, explore and engage in discussions beyond the scope of your role and function. You are always asking questions and are a keen listener. You easily gather information and insights that stimulate or vet some hypothesis you are forming about what will improve things. Because you are such a good listener, folks share a tremendous about of information and perspectives with you, and the way you explore stimulates their thinking. You can be a catalyst for new thinking.
- Your queries sometimes hit a defensive wall built to protect weak thinking or tactical thinkers unable to respond with strategic thinking. You might genuinely ask:
- Why are we taking this course?
- Why are we making this change?
- Why have we selected to work with this partner/company/person?
How many of these ring true for you?
Demystify strategic thinking or learn how to strengthen your ability to influence your organization's planning effort.