The ability to plan effectively for the future is crucial for any business if they want a competitive advantage. Strategic thinking activities help participants understand the need for long term planning, setting goals and priorities, and identifying potential risks and opportunities.
Leaders and teams engage primarily in 3 activities for dynamic strategic thinking. The first is to start with looking at what you have got –
You will want to assess what the company is working on that’s part of today’s business.
- What projects or areas of the organization can be a prospect that could fuel the next generation of growth? And
- what are you currently working on that are potential options for the future?
- The second is to discuss where you want to be – When you look at five or ten years, what are some of the things the organization wants to achieve?
- Where are you hoping to take the company?
From there you can work backwards and assess how it will apply to what the company is doing. The third is to break it all down into day-to-day activities – This is where all areas of the organization will get involved, and it’s how your strategy can be implemented.
You will have to translate your longer-term strategy into the more granular day-to-day activities encompassing experiments, iterations and learning. These tasks will all contribute toward the process of validating/invalidating the future value your business hopes to generate.
It’s time to apply Strategic thinking activities to your business. Questions like what your company would look like and how do you expect it to compete in future years can be addressed once your team comes up with a list of ideas, statements, or activities to describe how the world looks in five areas: Economically, Socially, Politically, Technologically, Ecologically and Legally. With these lists out there, consider relevant trends for your business and the ones affecting your vision. These could serve as the foundation for developing goals for your strategic plan in line with future value creation. You’re self-defeating if you let your assumptions command Strategic thinking and activities surrounding it.
It makes sense to ask your team to think in a more macro perspective; questions may center around factors such as assumptions made, rules assumed, perceptions that influence the world you inhabit. How you see the world and how that perspective differs from that of other people with advantages and disadvantages of each way of thinking need addressing here. With these thoughts in mind, it’s important to find out how you and your team can think out of the box. Have your team think about the following ideas as they relate to a different vantage point: What happens in other nations, cultures, or corporations? How can you change the situation to make a solution work contextually? Or better yet, visit or read about other people’s lives and cultures and try to comprehend why they think the way they do.
The future of Strategic thinking activities will be increasingly dynamic. Leadership and companies will have to be forward looking and prepare for a world that mandates constant adaptability and innovation. The question remains – How must we prepare for this transformation?