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How To Be A Strategic Thinker
And why it's worth it.
If you had more free time in your calendar what would you do? Spend time making a head start on the other projects you’ve got going on - or invest it in deep strategic thinking?
It’s not a rhetorical question, but for leaders who pride themselves on ‘getting things done’ the answer will often be the former.
If you’re someone who gets a buzz from delivering results, creating the space for thinking, rather than doing can be hard.
The quickest results often don’t come from stopping and thinking about the longer term.
Choosing to put aside focusing on short-term success, even just for a moment, means opting for something that takes a little bit more effort and results in a little less immediate pleasure.
The challenge with strategic thinking is that it often falls into the ‘really important’ bucket, rather than the ‘urgent’ one.
But the need for strategic thinking has never been more urgent.
In her recent research, Dorie Clark found that 97% of leaders identified strategic thinking as critical to their organisation’s success.
There’s an opportunity to be had.
So, to help you be a more strategic thinker, here are six ways to get your juices flowing this week.
Meantime if you haven’t already, hit the button below.
Wise words: From Michael Porter. Think about your week, this week.
What proportion of your time have you allocated so far to strategic thinking?
What would you like the ratio between delivery/action and strategic thinking to be?
What one thing could you change/cancel/delegate to take a step closer to that today?
Read: In their piece below, McKinsey set out four areas to focus on to embed excellent strategic thinking. How would your leadership team rank against them on a scale of 1 - 5?
Trends: Whatever role you’re in, you have a unique perspective to bring to your business. Think about the patterns that you observe.
What trends are you seeing within your company?
What’s happening externally that you notice, at your level and out across the sector?
What are the small things that you notice day to day that if tackled would make an impactful difference in productivity and performance?
Read: Ron Carucci has some useful tips on how to make strategic thinking part of your job, even when you don’t have time.
Watch: Dorie Clark wrote a whole book about how to think long, in a short-term world. In this 30-minute interview, she shares 5 steps that will get you started today.
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