Strategic thinking is defined as a mental process applied in the context of achieving success.
So in terms of using strategic thinking in your job this translates to thinking around every decision you make to ensure it gives the most successful outcome for the business.
Putting every decision in the context of the organisations goals. Good theory.
But in practice, by the time you have attended meetings, responded to emails, taken and returned phone calls, there is little time left for strategic thinking about every decision you make.
More usually decisions are based on reflex or history, what has worked before.
The problem is the world is changing around you and what worked before may not be the best strategic decision now.
So it is important to make time to reflect before making decisions. Focusing too narrowly reduces your chance to make a strategic decision.
Quick Facts: Strategic Thinking
What are the opportunities and risks?
Who and what is involved? What might the outcome be if handled differently?
What seems like an opportunity might turn out to contain risk, and what seemed risky might actually offer an opportunity.
Strategic people create connections between ideas and opportunities that other people fail to see. They see the world as a network of interconnected ideas and people, and they spot opportunities to advance their interests at those connection points.
Think of all the people who have made fortunes from the internet- Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, the founders of Amazon and Google .That involved strategic thinking
But time is limited so it is difficult to be strategic about everything when you are under pressure to meet deadlines
You will be seen as more strategic if you take action and course-correct than if you choose to stagnate and doing nothing or stall from trying to do everything.
So try to be more strategic by being more deliberate in your thoughts and actions. Take the time you need to reflect on the situations and decisions you have to make.
Look for ways to connect ideas and people that you had never linked before.
Sometimes you need to defer a decision while you take a walk, or think overnight. Think outside the box. Try it, see what you come up with!