Strategic thinking is the methodology that represents the way the people think about certain aspects of the business. Intrinsically, it is the assessment, analysis and creation of discreet business ideas. In terms of nature, strategic thinking is similar to strategic planning, which is the development of business insights and collecting them together to form an action plan. The developed action plan is devised to complete different goals and objectives. On the other hand, strategic thinking can be applied every day in a business. Whereas, strategic planning is carried out at fixed periods of time within an organization i.e. weekly, monthly or yearly.
Strategic thinking is a highly efficient and valuable tool for a business organization. Strategic thinkers form the core of any successful management team in an organization. It is the ability of a strategic thinker to envisage the future hurdles, and make appropriate contingency plans. It can be applied in different scenarios to proliferate effective decision making. However, strategic thinking also involves the development of certain critical skills.
These skills are the basis of efficient strategic thinking.
These critical skills are as following
- A strategic thinker must be able to think about both the pros and cons of a possible decision. He must consider the important aspects of a decision and its future impacts on other tasks and objectives. Hence, a balance must be struck between the benefits and disadvantages of a particular policy.
- A strategic thinker must be able to develop a clear vision focused on the business. The ability to form such a vision helps in taking business decisions quickly and effectively. Besides, it becomes easy for other employees and colleagues to follow the vision of the manager, effectively.
- A strategic thinker must be able to breakdown a large objective into different sub-objectives. In this way, a large objective can be differentiated among different employees that leads to quick turnaround time.
- A strategic thinker must be flexible i.e. he should be able to alter, modify or change the objectives as per their changing priority. Every successful business requires on-the-fly decision making skills. Such skills incorporate altering or changing the direction of a business objective in response to different factors. Hence, the ability to be flexible helps in developing efficient strategic decisions.
- A strategic thinker must be aware and perceptive in nature. This ability helps a strategic thinker to quickly assess the changing business paradigms. Many a times, strategic thinkers are able to analyze certain clues that can help them in making quick predictions. Besides, it is important to observe and understand the scenario before devising an action plan. Thus, it is essential for a strategic thinker to be aware and be perceptive in nature.
With the understanding of the above-mentioned critical skills, efficient strategic thinking can be practiced in any business organization. Also, it is important to understand that strategic thinking comes in varying degrees, and it is a constant learning process for the managers to develop their skills with time.