Strategic thinking is not as common, or as easy as some people think.
By strategic thinking, I’m referring to the ability to think ahead and connect the dots to get you to a particular goal or objective. And doing this not just in business, but in life too.
Thinking strategically is never a problem for me. It’s executing the strategy that I’ve found difficult.
Within my team, at the office, I’ve been trying to get them to think more strategically so that we can make better decisions.
Here are some ways to become a more strategic thinker.
Become a lifelong learner.
Read books and magazines, listen to audiobooks, watch educational videos. Learn something new every day.
But more than that, be purposeful with your learning and take time to make connections with what you’ve learned and how you can apply it to your daily life or business.
Question proposed solutions, objections, your thinking, your assumptions… everything.
Why does this work? Why doesn’t this work? Why are we making this choice? What are the other options?
What are the trends that are happening now and how will that affect the future? What are we doing now? What should we be doing now?
Questions may not lead to better answers, but it does help provide better decisions.
But ensure that you are not stuck in analysis paralysis. Ask questions, but set a deadline by which time a decision must be made.
Take time to think.
Often in our busy work, we don’t take the time to review the things we’ve learned or the answers to questions we’ve asked.
Reflection is a purposeful way of cementing our ideas into a plan of action for the future and an important part of thinking strategically.
Talk to others about your ideas.
This helps build new knowledge, gives time to reflect, and probably find ways to use what you are learning in your real life or business.
As the saying goes:
If you have a dollar and I have a dollar and we swap. Now you have my dollar and I have your dollar. We are no better off.
But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we swap. Now you have two ideas and I have two ideas.