A New Approach to Strategic Thinking Training

A strategic thinker is a person who anticipates, prepares, and puts him/herself or the organization in the position to exploit future opportunities or avoid future threats. To effectively engage in strategic thinking, one must cultivate a broad perspective; he or she must have the vision and an intrinsic awareness of emerging trends and recent developments that are changing in the world around them.

CMOE’s Strategic Thinking Workshop and learning programs help people and organizations find the balance between today’s expectations and tomorrow’s opportunities.  Effective strategic thinking training focuses on teaching participants to be more observant and adaptable in their individual area of responsibility. People will be able to pinpoint specific initiatives they can lead to add distinctive value and a competitive advantage.

Strategic Thinking In The Workplace

Strategy looking forward

Many organizations have the consistent, problematic tendency to unwittingly sacrifice long-term plans in order to get immediate results.

Strategic planning (and the ability to think in a strategic manner) is often expected only from executives and senior managers, and only in relation to setting annual budgets for tactical operations.

However, today’s business environment requires that every member of the organization not only add tactical value but be strategically relevant in order for the organization to create economic value. Each person must develop his or her own strategic thinking and be willing to take his/her performance to the next level.

The Advantages of Strategic Mindset Training

Enrolling everyone in the organization in a strategic thinking training module will help the organization in a number of ways:

  • Individuals become more forward-thinking in their everyday roles.
  • Business units achieve more traction and support for the business’ overarching strategies.
  • Individuals have increased flexibility and can anticipate ways to add creative and distinctive value to the organization.
  • Individuals discover new sources of motivation and excitement in their work.

Rather than focusing directly on the organization’s overall strategy, our applied strategic thinking training focuses on the ability of individuals and teams to contribute and add distinctive value to the corporate strategy. Our research-based methodology applies a framework or “road map” to help participants think ahead, add value, and be effective at acting in entrepreneurial and innovative ways. Once a participant develops these hands-on skills and begins to use them on a daily basis, he or she will find that thinking strategically has become second nature. Participants begin to strategize instinctively; they see subtle patterns more often, weigh consequences more quickly, and make innovative decisions with more confidence. Our program is designed to sustain these skills long-term which will produce positive, bottom-line results.

Strategic Thinking Skills In Your Organization  

Strategic-thinking skills are essential for all levels of the organization in today’s business world.

CMOE offers customized strategic thinking exercises and learning initiatives designed to support your company’s strategic vision and growth. Please contact us to learn how our first-class customer service, quality, and value will make your workshop or learning event a success.

Related Services

Strategic Teaming

Strategic Leadership Course

Applied Strategic Thinking® Workshop

Strategy Development Processes and Services

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“Being strategic means you have a different focus than a lot of other people. It means that you have a unique presence of mind, and that you look at your job literally as a separate enterprise—something you have personal stock in; something to which you could assign a monetary value. When you catch this vision you approach your job in an entirely different way.”

~ Steven J. Stowell, Ph.D.

“To have a strategic sense, not only do you need to look up and get your chin off your chest, you also need to look to the left, to the right, and behind you to see who or what is hot on your heels.”

~ Stephanie S. Mead, MBA

“When thinking about and planning for the future, it is easy to think about the things that could go wrong, but don’t forget to think about the things that could go right.”

~Ahead of the Curve: A Guide to Applied Strategic Thinking

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by strategic thinking?

Strategic thinking is a person’s ability to reflect on how they can become a strategic force in their work. They do this by identifying strategies that will leverage their strengths in unique ways, ignite positive change, and contribute competitive advantage and value. This skill applies to both leaders and individual contributors. A strategic thinker has the capacity to anticipate the future and the discipline to prepare for it by continually assessing and adapting to their changing environment. They look for opportunities to exploit, methods for managing risks, and chances to maximize their personal contribution to the business. Strategic thinkers apply strategic thought in practical ways so they can prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities today. Strategic thinking is a skill that applies to everyone at every level in the organization.

How do you measure strategic thinking?

While the ultimate measure of one’s strategic-thinking ability is the successful achievement of strategic goals and plans over the long run, there are other important indicators of strategic-thinking ability:

  • Defining specific goals and objectives associated with longer-term success
  • Developing action plans that include measurements and milestones
  • Responding to changing circumstances with agility
  • Managing ambiguity and uncertainty with ease
  • Challenging norms, assumptions, and traditional ways of thinking
  • Collaborating and aligning with other individuals or teams
  • Acting like an owner
  • Actively thinking about the customer/client
  • Identifying new opportunities to pursue
  • Exploring risks, scenarios, options, and alternatives
  • Finding ways to minimize weaknesses
  • Utilizing strengths
  • Maximizing resources
  • Identifying specific innovations and using creative thinking
  • Staying up to date on information, insights, and trends
  • Tracking data and signals about the future

Is strategic thinking a skill?

Yes, strategic thinking is a practical and actionable skill that enables leaders and individual contributors to be proactive and successfully capitalize on the forces and events shaping the future. It is an especially critical competency for leaders, but anyone can benefit from the development of this skill. Strategic thinking allows people to gain a better understanding of opportunities and challenges associated with their own job responsibilities as well as business conditions (the market, customers, and competitors) and indicators that signal coming changes and new trends.

People need strategic-thinking skills so they can be in tune with the signals that provide insight into how they will be able to achieve success over the long run. Without the ability to think strategically, people can get caught in the routine-activity trap and a stimulus-response mode of living.

Strategic-thinking skills can be developed through targeted learning experiences and self-development efforts, and it is also a skill that can grow from a systematic, applied process and regular disciplines designed to control short-term distractions and demands.

What is the opposite of strategic thinking?

The opposite of strategic thinking is a mindset that is focused on shorter-term thinking and tends to be more operationally or tactically focused. Strategic thinking is anticipating and thinking about how to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities, whereas operational thinking involves making decisions about how to execute current tasks, produce immediate results, and solve today’s problems. Where strategic thinking has a longer time horizon and broader focus and generally involves a higher degree of imagination and creativity, operational thinking usually focuses more heavily on how to execute immediate or shorter-term tasks and plans effectively and efficiently. While it is important to have an operational mindset and pay attention to tactical responsibilities, it is equally important to balance that with being forward-thinking and proactive.

What is the difference between critical thinking and strategic thinking?

Critical thinking and strategic thinking are very similar because both are thought processes. Typically, critical thinking is focused on a specific problem, decision, opportunity, situation, etc., whereas strategic thinking is broader and usually goes beyond a specific task. Strategic thinking can be more expansive, involves creative vision, and is geared towards being proactive about potential problems, decisions, opportunities, etc. Critical thinking is analytical in nature because it uses facts to form a judgment and involves making logical connections between ideas.