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critical thinking

Turn sloppy thinking into strategic thinking

You’ve been told you need to think more ‘strategically’. But what does this really mean and can you do it?

A strategy is simply a series of tasks, outputs or actions in the service of achieving a particular outcome. Not hard right? So how come so many of us struggle with it? If you want to improve your strategic thinking skills, here are the top tips from the experts:

Eleanor Shakiba - Develop your own strategic thinking skills by Focus on building new roads, not repairing potholes

This great metaphor is about teaching yourself the think beyond the presenting immediate problem to how can we fix this for the future or future proof this idea 
Take on a curiosity mindset 
To be strategic you need to let go of the need to be right. Strategy is unpredictable and risky, that’s what’s makes it so impactful, so get curious about possibilities and problems rather than just trying to nail them down  

Karen Meager - Leaders can develop their teams strategic thinking by 
Taking out the fear factor 
Rather than using the word strategic, explain specifically what you want people to think about. Define what you mean.

Giving them specific feedback and examples

Instead of just telling them they need to be more strategic, give them clear feedback about what you consider to be strategic and not, and give them examples of strategic think by complimenting someone who does, or give them examples from your career. It may be obvious to you, but may not be to them.

John McLachlan - Asking ‘why’ to encourage strategic thinking.

They key is to direct peoples thinking to the bigger picture, here are some different ways of asking ‘why’ so that people begin to think bigger not smaller:

‘How does this link to our goals for this year?’

‘How will this help us achieve what we want to as a business?’

‘How does x link to Y?’

‘What will doing this get for us/ achieve for the business?’

Find out more about turning sloppy thinking into strategic thinking with our Great Minds Think Differently series. Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the title Great Minds Think Differently and each month you will receive an article from John, Karen and Eleanor with all of this plus free access to extra resources.

Need help planning your strategy away day? Visit our free business guides page for some help.

Follow the experts for more: Eleanor Shakiba is the author of Difficult People made Easy which is available on Amazon.

Follow Karen Meager on twitter @karenmeager

Follow John McLachlan on twitter @johnfmclachlan

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