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Make Strategic Thinking Part of Your Job

David Collis - Harvard Business School professor

“Most executives cannot articulate the objective, scope, and advantage of their business in a simple statement. If they can’t, neither can anyone else.”

David Collis - Harvard Business School professor

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Make Strategic Thinking Part of Your Job

Make Strategic Thinking Part of Your Job

https://hbr.org/2016/10/make-strategic-thinking-part-of-your-job

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Invite Dissent To Build Others’ Commitment

An executive needs those she leads to translate strategic insights into choices that drive results. For people to commit to carrying out an executive’s strategic thinking, they have to both understand and believe in it. But repeated explanations don’t necessarily increase people’s understanding and ownership of strategy. Making them discuss the pros and cons of it make it so the problem is better understood and flaws are identified and fixed increasing ownership for success.

Identify The Strategic Requirements Of The Job

When someone is promoted into a function that requires strategic leadership it’s easy to spend time fixing what was wrong in their previous function but that often isn’t what the strategic leadership position requires. So, identify the strategic requirements of your job and focus on them.

Uncover Patterns To Focus Resource Investments

Once a strategic plan is set, resources must be aligned to focus on that contributionGreat strategic executives know how to use data to generate new insights about how they and their industries make money. Examining patterns of performance over time — financial, operational, customer, and competitive data — will reveal critical foresight about future opportunities and risks and allow proper resource management.

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Strategic thinkers advance their careers by being better leaders. Not all great thinkers are great leaders, but the ones who are leadership material are likely better leaders than those who fail to think strategically.

Strategic leaders go beyond the role of having and communicating a vision to fully understanding, planning and executing the necessary strategies to realize it. They make better decisions as they have a more holistic view that includes the organization and the people inside and outside it.

Creating a Domino effect

Strategic thinkers demonstrate organizational value by creating more strategic thinkers. Developing a culture that considers strategy and doesn’t lose sight of the value that needs to be delivered greatly increases the capabilities of a company. Strategic thinkers are the ones in the organization who ponder and prompt questions that are designed to create even more strategic thinkers.

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The value of strategic side gigs

A survey of 122 senior executives from a variety of industries agreed that outside engagements were critical to leadership success now and in the future.

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Finding the time for a side gig

Although executives face a high demand on their time, private and public sector leaders believe that you can find the time if you make it a priority. (Although you may have to give up some nights or weekends.) Make sure you deliver in your job and for your family, then take on additional responsibilities.

Try to spend 10% to 20% on these "extracurricular" activities. The amount needn't be consistent every week or month.

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