The Positive Impact of Strategic Thinking and Planning on Your Success
What is strategic thinking? Strategic thinking is a somewhat complex statement. For a better understanding of what it means, first consider what strategic planning is. Strategic planning is a process of analysis and declaration, usually used by companies to focus their goals and directives. Strategic planning focuses on strategy, direction and decision-making. Before an organization could plan for its future, it would first have to examine its own strengths, weaknesses, threats and well as a summary of its political, economic, social and technological missions. The primary objective of strategic planning is not merely analysis, but the formal consideration of an organization's future course.
How does strategic planning differ from strategic thinking? There are some subtle differences that should be reviewed. Strategic thinking is not as detailed as strategic planning. Strategic thinking implies predicting a general "shape" of what the future might bring; i.e., financial trends or significant political events. Strategic planning would plan for the future and in tremendous detail. Of course, nobody can predict the future and so strategic planning would center more on predicting organizational performance rather than social outcomes. There are also more subtle differences. In strategic thinking, managers understand the entire system including all functioning units. With strategic planning, some management personnel may be kept in the dark, only being taught how to fulfill their role. The best way to understand the difference is that strategic thinking seems to favor a more effective operation, whereas strategic planning focuses on efficiency.
Both systems are recommended for a variety of reasons. A business owner must have a clear direction of where his or her firm is going. Just as an individual sets short-term goals, so the leaders in an organization must continue to set goals and directives on a continuing basis. Whether you own your own business, are progressing in your career, or are seeking strategy for some other aspect of life, you should be putting forth effort to become a better strategic thinker. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Tips To Become a Better Strategic Thinker
Every strategy starts with a vision, a vision of success, both in the long-term and short-term picture. Strategists are not afraid of failure but look forward to learning from experience. You will always be learning, no matter how long you live. All of the experience that you accumulate should help you to improve strategic thinking. The best strategists use both strategic thinking and planning to their advantage, managing their time efficiently, even while focusing in on details as much as possible. Try and remember this simple fact: time is more costly than money. Money comes and goes but you can never get wasted time back.
Becoming a better strategic thinker requires that you modify your thinking so that you can be more observant of what is happening around you. Most strategic thinkers have a very high level of awareness and are careful to take in as much information as possible. The more you know about the past and present the more you can predict the future. This is what strategic thinking is all about. Actually, the more short-term goals that you create, the better off you will be. Short-term goals keep individuals motivated and confident.
Why Great Strategies Fail
All of these tips can help you to formulate a great strategy. However, there is no guarantee that your brilliant strategic plan will work. You cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy, no matter how much planning you do, and no matter who you are.
Use a setback as a learning experience and strategize so that the next endeavor is monumentally successful. I'm sure you have heard the expression, "learn from your mistakes." As we move forward and make progress on our journey, we will have many experiences to learn from. Use them to your advantage.