Natasha Dresner writing in/on GIJP Blog:
To Think or Not to Think Strategically: Is that even a Question?!
Strategic thinking is different from strategic planning, but they’re interrelated and complementary. Some people think that it’s a “chicken and egg” thing – in other words, that you can start with either and it’ll promote the other. I believe that strategic thinking comes first – you focus on what matters most (e.g. performance, revenue sources, outside perception of the organization) and, via a meaningful dialogue among everyone in your organization, you then produce a high-level, bird’s-eye view of your situation. This, in turn, logically leads you into the more nitty-gritty strategic planning process to figure out the details, sequences, measurable outcomes, etc. Good strategic thinking is guaranteed to provide valuable content, which a strategic plan alone might not. Practicing strategic thinking positions us well for being proactive: thinking (strategically) ahead to be ready to quickly respond to changes. Both concepts – strategic thinking and strategic planning – are critical for the success and competitiveness of your organization.
To me, strategic thinking is a tool and a skill to ask timely, thought-provoking, discussion-stimulating questions to help you be the best you can be and to be as prepared as you can for the unexpected.
Here are six things you can do to learn and practice strategic thinking…