Skills of Management Strategic thinking skills

Strategic thinking...

  • involves thinking about a business’s future direction and what future goals the business wants to achieve.
  • entails a series of decisions about what actions the company intends to take to become more successful.
  • lets the manager see the ‘bigger picture’.
  • allowing managers to see the business as a whole — as a complex of parts that depend on and interact with each other, like the gears in a machine — to take the broad, long-term view.
  • can be learned through practice.
At the heart of strategic thinking is the ability to anticipate major shifts in the competitive marketplace and identify emerging opportunities.

By utilising strategic thinking a manager may..

  • visualise how work teams and individuals interrelate
  • understand the effect of any action on the business
  • gain insights into an uncertain future
  • see the business in the context of events and trends, and identify opportunities or threats.
Strategic thinking can be important in many aspects of business operations, including...
  • Resource limitations – efficient use of resources, avoidance of costly mistakes, advance the company towards its objectives and selecting appropriate markets.
  • Changing environment – competitive threats, opportunities and reacting to necessary changes.
  • Matching competitor strengths - evaluating a business’ strengths and weaknesses versus those of key competitors. Looking at ways to exceed competitors.
  • Need to grow - forces companies to recognise they cannot afford to stand still and must be innovative in all aspects of the operation of the business. This leads to business growth and profitability.
  • Improved decision making - enables a business owner to make more logical, confident decisions.
It is essential that senior managers promote the importance of strategic thinking to their fellow managers and employees.

In order to emphasise the importance of strategic thinking businesses may...

  • go through a strategic planning process once a year, creating a document that is, in essence, a guidebook for the management team to use in the upcoming year.
  • implement strategic thinking in daily business conduct.
  • have a strategic thinking workshop to introduce the new strategy (if not already in practice).
  • regularly highlight the benefits of such a skill in meetings and presentations.
It is assumed that strategic thinking skills are the exclusive field of senior management. This is simply not true. Managers at all levels need to exercise this skill.

Managers at all levels should implement strategic thinking as...

  • it will help the business maintain its competitive position within a constantly changing business environment.
  • businesses operate as a whole.
  • strategic thinking can help improve communication and collaboration between different departments of a business.
  • this collaboration allows all teams to work together to achieve the businesses objectives and goals.
  • therefore leading to an increased chance of growth and success for the business.

Credits:

Created with images by jarmoluk - "the strategy win champion" • TeroVesalainen - "idea innovation imagination" • aria9 - "THINK" • keshavnaidu - "man work think" • maura24 - "business woman business man business" • moerschy - "skyscraper glass facade offices"

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