17 Apr 2012

How to think strategically

What does thinking strategically mean to you? Have your say below.

Strategic thinking can set a business apart, putting it at the forefront of its industry while allowing it to take advantage of trends in customer demand.

At Brennan IT, we believe that strategic thinking has served us well (leading us to pioneer mid-market cloud services, for example).

But what is it exactly, and how can it be brought about?

Here’s some of what we think strategic thinking requires:

Vision

Strategic thought is predicated on future predictions. It means anticipating where current and new trends will lead.

Whether it’s a new market or a new opportunity within one, to be strategic you must be thinking ahead of time, as well as about the present.

Information

While ‘gut feeling’ has empowered many a business, it’s (usually) better when backed by data.

To make the right decisions, strategic thinkers need as much information as they can find, and not only data that relates to their industry, but also trends outside it, because often what will most affect an industry will come from without.

Creativity

Paul Arden from Saatchi and Saatchi famously said “whatever you think, think the opposite.”

While Arden’s is not always the right advice, it’s a useful reminder not to follow herd (unless, of course, you’ve independently decided that the herd is correct!).

In any case, creative as well as critical thinking, is what sets a good strategist apart.

Leadership

A strategy is nothing if it isn’t executed, which is why the ability to communicate and lead are also important skills for successful strategic thinkers.

Indeed, getting others on board, showing them the vision, and demonstrating how and why it can be achieved are just as important as the strategy itself.

What do you think? What’s the vital ingredient of strategic thought?

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