Three keys to strategic thinking

  • The ability to throw out predictive models. Strategy must be constantly renewed. You must have an open mind to address situations as they arise, redirect and tackle uncertainty.
  • The ability to ask questions. In strategic thinking, questions are much more important than answers.
  • The ability to identify the key points. Knowing what the crucial factors are is absolutely fundamental; for more precise monitoring and redirection as necessary.

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Strategic Thinking: How To Give Your Life Purpose

exploringyourmind.com

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  • You know where you want to go. There must be a clearly defined objective or purpose.
  • You know where you are at. You have the capacity to define what the current situation is, and how far away the goal is.
  • You know how to define the path you must follow. This is the central point of the strategy. It involves us working out how we will reach our goals.
  • You know how to self-evaluate and correct things. It requires flexibility to constantly monitor what is being done and be able to redirect things if necessary.

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You can’t learn strategic thinking from reading a how-to manual. Instead, people compare it to walking, swimming or riding a bicycle. It isn’t theoretical; it is learned through practice.

To think strategically, you need a dose of realism, a capacity for reflection , and an ability to see the big picture . These capacities don’t just appear out of nowhere, they have to be developed through practice.

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What is strategic thinking?

Strategic thinking is defined as approaching today from the perspective of the future. It is an approach aimed at anticipating the long-term effects of our actions. It is a creative, long-term vision geared to the achievement of specific objectives.

As the name suggests, strategic thinking involves strategy. A coordinated action plan focused on a specific plan or goal.

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“We are what we do, day by day. So excellence is not an act, but a habit.“

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  • Doing something totally different. The idea here is that you decide to do some activity that you’ve never done before.
  • Role play. You think of a person you admire and try to think how they think. Then, throughout the day, you behave as if you were that person. At the end of the day, you describe what you discovered.
  • Crazy questions. Every day try to ask a question about something unusual. It shouldn’t be a question to get information but rather one that invites analysis. Example: "why are eyes round?"

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Being More Reflective

Strategic thinkers understand and dig deeper when analyzing processes, developing and applying performance metrics, collecting data and producing analytics for better decision-making. They challenge the involved to consider answers for important questions.

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3 Unmistakable Signs That You Are A Strategic Thinker

forbes.com

5 Steps To Strategic Thinking
  1. Align to your vision. When you're clear about what you want, you're able to describe it in vivid detail and hypothesize how to get it. 
  2. Ask questions. Ask yourself what are your vision, goals and resources.
  3. Give it some thought. Find a quiet place and reflect. Write in detail your answers from the previous step. Set up a meeting with people from different backgrounds and discuss matters of strategy.
  4. Plan. Identify your action items to achieve your short-term and long-term goals. 
  5. Diagram. Diagramming, mindmapping, brainstorming, drawing pictures, mocking up graphs and charts… All of these techniques stimulate your creativity and can break you out of the box. 

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The 5 Steps to Strategic Thinking That Really Matter

inc.com

Leo Tolstoy

"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time"

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forbes.com