Strategic Thinking

We all wish we had the ideal outcome. The process for effectively achieving the desired outcome will be determined by your thinking, specifically your strategic thinking, critical thinking and creative thinking.  Taking the time to think well about your plans, goals, and dreams will ensure you leave a great lasting impression.  Minimal mistakes will be realized.

So what exactly is strategic thinking and how does it affect my business and what I want to create?  There are several factors that make up effective strategic thinking, the first being alignment.  When you have created your Mission Statement, your Vision Statement, clarified your Competitive Advantage and your Operating Strengths, it’s critical to have your team on the same page.  You want them all buying into the concepts, and believe in the foundational principles of the company.  If they are not buying in, then we have a big problem.  The more that people agree with the processes, systems, and policy, the easier your job.  Whoever has a vested interest in your company needs to be on board.  So watch for evidence that they believe in the principles, agree with them, and are adhering to them.

Secondly, Strategic Thinking should be goal oriented.  Whatever goals you set – short term and long term – first clarify the expectations, the performance standards, your evaluation process and a reasonable action plan.  You need to have some way of measuring progress to ensure your team is on track.

The facts speak for themselves.  Gather as much of the right data you can to be able to accurately measure points of success.  These can include employee performance, productivity, ROI, sales, and website traffic.

Preparing for the future is tough because there are many variables which are completely out of our control.  Build your character and business to be resilient.  As you plan and prepare, be flexible and adaptable in thinking and actions.   Are you seeing the big picture?  Broaden your thinking for greater success.  If changes have to be made, make them.  Indecisiveness can kill you.  Think “worst case scenario” is your intention is to thrive.  Create a contingency plan for that and come out a winner.  You must be able to adapt to virtually anything to survive and you must be able to adapt quickly.

Planning your day and refining your action plan is necessary.  There is so much to do and we know we will never get it all done.  Get clear on what your business does and what you don’t do.  Then focus your time, energy and thinking on what will bring you the most success.

The strategic thinking process should be exciting, emotional, motivating and fun.  It’s hard work to think, to encourage others to really think and to share their ideas.  So use it as a tool to build a great company or corporate culture where people want to be involved and fully participate.

Now that you have worked out the details, it’s time to go to work. Can you actually implement the plans?  Are all the pieces in place, such as capacity, systems, personnel, finances, and communication strategies?  If you launch without working through the implementation process, you will run into road blocks.

Strategic Thinking requires that you re-think everything – yes…everything! Examine tradition and the way things have always been done.  Perhaps it’s time for a change and a fresh new approach.  That new approach will create a great new image.

Copyright Deborah Reynolds