It is wonderful to learn what it is to think strategically and then start doing it. If you do a survey, there will be a lot of people who believe they are good thinkers, who believe they are strategic thinkers. Unfortunately, many of these people are mistaken. Strategic thinking doesn’t happen by accident and it doesn’t happen without some work. This article is the first in our series on strategic thinking.
Strategic thinking involves several different components. These components include:
- Anticipation – the ability and use of peripheral vision, the ability to think three or more moves ahead
- Challenge – the act of questioning, reframing, digging into the roots of a matter
- Interpret – being able to figure out patterns from multiple data sources
- Decide – the act if taking a stand, balancing speed and quality in making a determination
- Align – get all interested parties, all stakeholders with their divergent views to come together
- Learn – the ability to use failures and successes as resources, debrief and adjust thinking action to match changing circumstances
When it is time for you to make important decisions, whether personal or for business, it is important to be strategic in your thinking. Strategic thinking just by its definition ha to yield better results than just winging it. Imagine it, if your thinking about things involves all six of the things listed above how much better your decisions will be.
Keep in mind that while there are quite few steps involved in being a strategic thinker, it doesn’t have to be a long and drawn out process. You can go through all six steps rather quickly once strategic thinking becomes a habit. Take some time today and start doing strategic thinking. Strategic thinking will make you stronger and more confident. Strategic thinking increases confidence because decisions are well-rounded, encompass all relevant pieces of information and the product of your best work and best efforts.
Come back next week for part two in our series on strategic thinking where we will explore the role of anticipation in strategic thinking. Then, in following week will explore the other six components of the strategic thinking formula. In conclusion, it is wonderful to learn what it is to think strategically and then start doing it. So, the question for you this wonderful day is, are you ready to start doing some strategic thinking?
70 thoughts on “Strategic Thinking – What It Means and How to Do It”
According to my family, I ‘challenge’ everything. I can’t make a decision or accept someone else’s decision without thinking through it completely.
I am not sure if I would consider myself a strategic thinker. More like a procrastinator.
I am not always a strategic thinker…! I need to work on being more strategic.
That’s my husband’s probably exactly – not anticipating stuff. He likes to just act and then doesn’t think about how it will affect him later. For instance, he will pile a bunch of stuff in a corner “cleaning” and then when I get upset that it wasn’t put in the correct place or that it’s more work for later, he can’t understand why, lol.
Strategic thinking is also being adaptable to changes.
thanks for breaking it all down and making it simple to understand for the rest of us, thanks!
I love the breakdown of the components. looking forward to the next installment.
I need to get better with my strategic thinking. I think my biggest problem is narrowing focus, though.
I just had a conversation with my daughter about a related topic like this.
Sometimes I am a strategic thinker and sometimes a free thinker depends on the situation.
I wish I wasnt such a dreamer. It keeps me up at night thinking about all the strategic moves I should be making. 🙂
This is a great series on strategic thinking. I jump the gun sometimes when I’m passionate about something.
Sometimes I need to slow down – I can be pretty impulsive sometimes! Great thought provoking post!
I love how you show us all the things we need to process before we come to a conclusion. Decisions that are hard should be given lots of thought.
I think strategic thinking is a great way to cut down on failures or wrong decisions. It won’t totally eliminate those things, of course, but it’s better than just jumping to a decision without really thinking about it.
Decisions made with thought are always more sound then decisions made rashly in the heat of emotion.
It’s always good to think. I think the first place people should think is before speaking.
I love the idea of thinking past the moment. Strategically thinking really can be a huge benefit to your life, and the lives of your children in the future. And if you’re careful enough, it could even serve to benefit your grandchildren. 🙂
This is great. having a guideline like this makes it easier to follow through with what you are thinking. Thanks for sharing.
Great post. I think ‘learning’ is the most important aspect of strategic thinking. One should always be willing and ready to take on new lessons and grow from there.
I used to be organized and have a strategy for things. I pretty much just try to survive with kids now.
my thinking is sometimes more frantic. there is so much going on most days it’s hard to stay focused. I need to be more strategic
I love this. I am a strategic parent. Always parent with the tips you wrote about above!
Thanks for this. I’m looking forward to reading next week’s post. I’m always up for reading about strategic thinking and what it means.
Great tips as usual! I am not that good at strategic thinking, I just jump in. Need to get better!
I love this post. I really need to try to think more strategically sometimes.
I need to do more of this kind of thinking.
I am pretty much a strategic thinker…although I might take a bit longer in step 3 since I tend to over-analyze things. Very enjoyable post – I look forward to part 2 next week!
I’m looking forward to your next post about this. I consider myself a strategic thinker but there are always ways to improve!
I think strategic thinking involves on understanding everything on a more holistic approach,
I never realized that strategic thinking had so many parts to it. I can’t wait to see what you say about it next week!
I always TRY to be a strategic thinker. I notice the results are greater when I take the time to think before I act. Great tips!
Great article and well written! We can all benefit from strategic thinking. Looking forward to reading more!
If I was a little more organized and managed time more efficiently, I think I’d invest a heck of a lot more time in strategic thinking.
I think being a strategic thinker is very important, almost as important as being a creative one!
I think often times I live in survival mode, trying to get from one task to the other. Perhaps that’s a product of my too-busy schedule. Great tips here though for a strategy.
I love the components you included in your strategy, makes so much sense.
plan plan plan, that’s my strategy. I usually need to write it down so I can visualize.
I am strategic when it comes to business. I’ll be back for your second post on it.
I think learning is my favorite part of strategic thinking. I often come up with a long list of ideas and to-do’s, and doing the research on how to best implement those ideas is a lot of fun to me!
Sometimes the hardest – but most important thing- we can do is keep emotions out of it and think strategically.
hmmm, very interesting, great information. Thanks for sharing
I am always very strategic when it comes to my future and financial decisions.
I’ll be interested to read part two! Thanks for this.
This is great information! I think strategically when making a lot of different types of decisions, whether it be a business decision or some type of life decision.
This is a great post. There are a few things I can work on for sure!
Always room to learn!
I agree that it’s very important to be strategic and think things through carefully.
Your post are always motivational! Thanks
Definitely a post to think about! Great advice, thank you!
Thanks for the great tips. I needed to read this 🙂
Great advice! Anyone can learn these steps to becoming a strategic thinker. Excellent post.
Great idea. I had to take an ethics class in college that talked of these and used them as a key for thinking.
Great series! Alignment can be the hardest component for me sometimes.
Great tips, and all so relevant! I love following your series!
Terrific tips. Thanks for sharing.
I love this. You always have the best tips.
This is a great series. I think #6 is so important. It’s always best to learn from your mistakes and keep on going.
This goes great with my Logic/philosophy class I’m taking right now. Great ideas to thinking differently.
So true. I’m guilty of acting before really doing the strategic thinking which would have been much more productive.
I try to make a plan for everything I do and think about my actions needed to complete this. I hope this way of thinking will help me reach my goals!
You always have the best motivating tips! I am really taking this one to hear today, thank you!
While I had no idea what strategic thinking was until now, I am glad to know I do this! Thanks for sharing. Very informative!
Learning from failures is so important.. so many people quit after they fail, but you must try try again.
Excellent post. I find strategic thinking works best as a small business owner.
Great post, thank you for sharing. I hope more people read this series. It’s vital to understand strategic thinking in all aspects of life, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or team leader of any kind. I’ll be looking forward to the next in this series.
we should all take the time to reflect, learn and then rethink our plans. Otherwise we don’t grow!
Yes!! So many people (myself included some days) need to read this. One area I think today’s generation is lacking is “Interpret”. Very good.
This is great! I can hardly wait for next week’s blog!
I think those are all valid ways to things more strategically and I could certainly benefit from incorporating those ideas into my ways of thinking.
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