I am currently a part of a team of individuals that is collaborating around the idea of Strategic Thinking. We are seeking to better understand the nature of Strategic Thinking and integrate this type of thinking into our work and lives. As we began to discuss our ideas around this topic a couple of different people made a great connection. They remarked that businesses who innovate grow. They also noted that they as individuals are always being asked to be innovative in their work. They then made the connection in their minds that innovation can only take place when people are thinking strategically.
If this connection is real, and I believe it is, then it will benefit us to learn how to think strategically. In fact any person who aspires to a leadership role must put the skill of strategic thinking at the top of his or her learning objectives.
We must learn to take time to contemplate the opportunities and problems before us beyond their immediate context. We must resist the urge to respond to them with quick and easy tactical responses. Instead we must pause and consider the long term implications of our decisions, looking deep into the future to uncover how our response to today’s problem will create opportunities for tomorrow and into the future. We must lift ourselves above the day to day to dream about what yet unforeseen possibilities exist before us and resist the urge to squash those dreams with how impossible the dream is. We must be people who see the distant future possibilities in today’s problems and find ways to motivate ourselves and our teams to see those dreams as worth pursuing.
When we learn to lead in strategic ways like this we will find that we and our organizations develop innovative approaches to opportunity. The barriers of “how” will fall away and the power of inspiration and “why” will drive us forward.
I’m curious to know what you think about Strategic Thinking. How would you define it? Where have you seen it in action? Do you agree that it promotes and is necessary for innovation? Leave your comments below. I would love to interact with you on this topic.