Premium Essay

Strategic Thinking

In: Business and Management

Submitted By 2012essays
Words 2396
Pages 10
The term “strategic thinking” is heard often in the world of business and leadership. What does this term actually mean? A simple Internet search will turn up dozens of different answers from dozens of experts. Our text states “Leadership is nothing without strategy. If there is no strategic thinking, leaders have nowhere to go, nowhere to point. Effective leaders, by definition, have a strategic view and direction.” Author Ian Wilson says, “strategic thinking is merely thinking about strategy.” And yet another author, Henry Mintzberg, has another definition; “strategic thinking is a synthesizing process utilizing intuition and creativity whose outcome is an integrated perspective of the enterprise.”
While searching for these definitions you are bombarded with more terms such as “strategic management”, and “strategic planning”. Each of these again comes with dozens more individual definitions. In the end, you have several definitions and absolutely no idea which is correct. In these situations I find it best to create a personal definition. My personal definition, strategic thinking is the process by which leaders control their organization. This process involves all decisions big and small. Whether it be implementing a new advertising campaign, or switching from one inch post its to two inch post its. The decisions leaders make will affect the outcome of the organization’s success.
I believe leaders have several tools at their disposal when using strategic thinking. Following I will discuss my personal key success factors and potential pitfalls that may occur during the strategic thinking process. To aid with strategic thinking I will discuss five key success factors: understanding, keeping an open mind, being approachable, having thick skin, and most importantly being confident. To help prevent bad strategic thinking I will discuss five...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Strategic Thinking

...Strategic Thinking Many city departments in other states have faced similar issues as the Houston Public Library. The Houston Public Library can benchmark those companies that have demonstrated strategic thinking to resolve parallel issues. Strategic thinking is the approach in which group in an organization think about, access, view, and creates the future for themselves and their associates. It is more than responding to day-to-day as well as long-term problems, opportunities, and new realities; it is creating tomorrow. Strategic thinking is not reactive, but proactive. It focuses on how to create a better future by being proactive and adding value to society-through the accomplishment of high payoff results. Strategic thinking always involves change, and often, profound personal change. It is a change in ones mindset. Strategic thinking is imagining the results one wants to achieve in the future and creating an ideal future by defining and achieving results that adds values to the company. The Houston Public Library can also review how the Houston Zoo went from a city department to a private foundation. Strategy, in business, is the combination of foresight, planning, and decision-making that prepares an enterprise to achieve long-term goals and manage the consequences of contemporary decisions. When creating a strategy the firm needs to decide on both short-term and long-term objectives. The qualities of effective short-term objectives are measurable, priorities, and......

Words: 1083 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Strategic Thinking

...Strategic Thinking Assignment Word Count: 1,500 | It is argued that the provision of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is becoming a new disruptive innovation that will radically change the scene of higher education. This report will analyse the external environment for MOOC provider Udacity, evaluate their competitive strategy and then discuss the future outlook for them and the industry. | Contents Introduction 2 The External Environment 2 Udacity’s competitive strategy 4 The future of the industry and how Udacity can sustain competitive advantage 6 References 7 Appendix 1 – PEST Analysis Table 11 Appendix 2 – PEST Analysis Graph 12 Appendix 3 – Product Life Cycle 13 Appendix 4 – MOOC Industry Life Cycle 14 Appendix 5 – Strategic Groups 1 15 Appendix 6 – Strategic Groups 2 16 Appendix 7 – Porter’s Five Forces (Current) 17 Appendix 8 – Porter’s Five Forces (Future) 18 Appendix 9 – SWOT Analysis 19 Appendix 10 – New Strategies 20 Appendix 11 – Commonly Required Skills and Resources 21 Introduction Udacity is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider based in Silicon Valley, offering career-focused education. They are partnered with tech-giants Google and Facebook and their mission is to “bring accessible, affordable, engaging, and highly effective higher education to the world” (Udacity, 2015). The External Environment Udacity’s macro environment (appendix 1) shows increasing numbers of mature and part-time......

Words: 3652 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Strategic Thinking Google

...Summary and analysis——Google in 2008 History,development,growth:Google is an internet search engine company which was established by larry page and serger brin in 1998 who released the basic deteails of a search engine in 1996,in late 1998,google could serving 10000 queries each day,then google raised $25 million funding in 1999 and built a business model through combining the innovation of goto.com with google`s search engine,meanwhile,they hired a new CEO,Schmidt,who had helped google to transite to a new stage.Several new services were rolled out,ads could be ranked by users and generate big economic advantage;Adwords was introduced in 2000 and upgraded in 2002 which include full set of pay-per-click advertising,keywords auction,etc ranked by relevance;Adsense then was publiced in 2003 which allowed third-party publishers to access google`s network of advertisers on a self-service basis and google split revenues with them.With rapidly grow up,google formulated a vision(Organize world`s information and make it acceptable and useful.) and lists of values to shape the evolution of the company.In 2004,google started to auction off shares to public with $85 a share.Google then inroduced other creative products like gmail,google map,etc as well as enter some partnership agreements. Then we do some SWOT analysis. Strengths like google have a very innovative search engine and they offer varies of services as well as new products and tools which own to the innovative corporate......

Words: 500 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Value Creation and Strategic Thinking

...Weight Watchers International: Value Creation and Strategic Thinking Staying Competitive with Advancements in Digital Technology   I. Introduction Two of the most important management principles for an organization is value creation and strategic thinking. Value creation is a very abstract term, but can easily be defined by the performance of actions that increase the worth of goods and services. It’s important for organizations to create value for its customers, employees, investors as well as its shareholders.1 Both value creation and strategic thinking are important to an organizations performance. Organizations look outward to define: What is its business? Who is its customer? and What does the customer value?2 Strategy takes this a step further in having a forward thinking approach in how can it can continue to create value for its customer by staying competitive. A great example of value creation and strategic thinking is Weight Watchers International (WWI). Its mission is to have a clear vision of where it wants to go and have strategy and set of values to get them there. Weight Watchers International’s business model is being tested by advancements in technology. The important question for WWI is how it can improve their strategy while still creating value for its customer and staying competitive in a digital weight management world. II. Background For over 50 years, WWI has been a global......

Words: 1497 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Building a Culture That Encourages Strategic Thinking

...Articles Building a Culture That Encourages Strategic Thinking Ellen F. Goldman1 and Andrea Casey1 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 17(2) 119–128 © Baker College 2010 Reprints and permission: http://www. sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1548051810369677 http://jlos.sagepub.com Abstract The ability to think strategically is critical for leaders and managers at multiple organizational levels. Specific work experiences can contribute to the development of an individual’s strategic thinking ability. Culture, among other organizational factors, can either encourage or limit those contributions. Leaders, as culture constructors and transformers, can act to maximize the relationship between organizational culture and the process of learning to think strategically. A cadre of formal training, developmental activities, and self-directed learning initiatives can provide leaders with the skills to enhance the strategic thinking of those they lead. Keywords strategic thinking, management learning, leadership development, organizational culture “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” This management truism is linked to examples of how strategy failed, acknowledging that actions attempted were inconsistent with the organization’s values, beliefs, and assumptions (Weeks, 2006). The strategy-eating potential of culture has been used as the basis for recommending that leaders initiate large-scale change efforts to align culture with strategy. However, it......

Words: 6840 - Pages: 28

Free Essay

Strategic Thinking

...SWOT ANALYSES STRENGTHS 1. Shared Leadership Roles Our team is effective because we demonstrated Shared Leadership behaviors among all members. For example; o We discuss, decide and contribute appropriately within the team meeting process. During the wall climbing activity at OLE weekend, the belaying process illustrated the benefits in accepting shared leadership roles within a team. 2. Collective work-products Each member has strengths in specific skills and we utilized them to make the team process successful. For Example; o We each took a component of the model and analyzed it thoroughly, however as a team we collaborated and integrated on the final product. 3. Encourages open-ended discussions and active problem-solving meetings Each member was always encouraged to contribute his or her ideas and suggestions. We would also solve problems as a team and not individually. For Example; o During meetings we would never come to an agreement unless we were all in consensus, i.e. during our deliverable meeting, one member wanted to suggest an idea and we were beginning to move on without first hearing the suggestion, however, the team stopped and listened to the idea before progressing further. o During another meeting, none of the members were on track, and we were all confused, nonetheless, before increasing the confusion by continuing, we all stated we needed to stop and clarify things. 4. Measures Performance Our team has done...

Words: 1157 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Strategic Thinking for Managers - Case Study - Mango Madness

...Nikky Shah 1405106 Strategic Thinking for Managers 6340 The assignment is solely the work of Nikky Shah. All ideas and views of other people included or referred to are acknowledged and appropriately referenced Nikky Shah 1405106 Introduction The report aims to analyze and examine in detail the strategic thinking process for Mango Madness. The purpose of this report is to identify and recognize the apparent position of the organization, its motto and vision, assessing the internal and external factors, issues, opportunities and challenges. The report also identifies the desired future position of the business and also stresses on Critical success factors and key strategic issues. For precise and accurate investigation, data has been extracted mainly from the case study, Facebook fan page and other sources which have been stated in the appendix. The remainder of the report advises and recommends certain resolutions and techniques that may be valuable to the business and help it to progress towards its motto. CURRENT POSITION OF THE BUSINESS Mango madness started off as a small business offering smoothies at a local market in Henderson in 2009. They started off as a small business but had high hopes and a great potential for growth and improvement. Ever since, the business began operating regularly every week on a larger scale and started participating in more events and even night markets, they have received ongoing success leading the owners to......

Words: 3199 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Assess and Critically Comment on the Idea That Strategic Planning Systems Can Stifle Innovative Thinking in Organisations

...Assess and critically comment on the idea that strategic planning systems can stifle innovative thinking in organisations It is debatable whether strategic planning systems can stifle innovative thinking in organisations. Although strategic planning systems are used in order to make companies work more efficiently, they may restrict organisations from showing their true potential by stifling innovative thinking. There are other theorists that state that listening to closely to markets and strategies can create a barrier to commercialising new technology and lead to reduced competitiveness. (Ferrell and Lukas 2000). In order to truly understand and analyse whether innovative thinking is being constrained by strategic planning systems, it is essential to understand which strategic planning systems are being used, whether their implementation limits the allowance to new and different approaches to organisations, and whether companies in real-life are being affected by this constraint. Before analysing whether innovative thinking is oppressed by strategic planning systems, it is important to define what a strategic planning system is. According to the BNET Business Dictionary (2007), strategic analysis is ‘…the process of conducting research on the business environment within which an organisation operates and on the organisation itself, in order to formulate strategy’. There are many different tools and analytical methods that are used by companies but there are three......

Words: 1745 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Strategic Planning and the Nursing Process

...Strategic Planning and the Nursing Process HCS 482 May 5, 2014 Diana DeLucia, M.S., PMP, CISA, CISM Strategic Planning and the Nursing Process When discussing strategic planning the nursing process does not instantly come to mind and vice versus when discussing the nursing process strategic planning does not come to mind. After taking a closer look at these two processes though there are many similarities between the two that will be discussed in this paper along with the nurse’s role in both processes, and how nurses can become more involved in strategic planning in informatics. Strategic planning involves laying the ground work for a healthcare agency to adapt the use of healthcare information technology (Sewell & Thede, 2013, p. 355). This process should be a creative a flexible one. A good strategic plan will guide practice changes and decision making over a 3-10 year period. If the plan is creative and flexible it will allow for changes to be made over the course of time. This is especially important with keeping up with the latest technology. According to Hebda & Czar (2013), “Strategic Planning is very simply the process of determining what an organization wants to be in the future and planning how it will get there” (p. 139). The “Nursing Process is a systematic, rational method of planning and providing care which requires critical thinking skills to identify and treat actual or potential health problems and to promote wellness” ("Nursing......

Words: 668 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Critical Thinking

...Critical Thinking Application An average person’s mind is constantly thinking and functioning whether consciously or unconsciously. Basically, the things we think about are highly limited and biased relative to what our brain has been exposed to. Take for instance, the regular thinking we do in our daily interactions with our external environment, the memories we make, the hobbies and practices only out of routine. When we brush our teeth, we don’t really think too hard about that, our minds are just conditioned to do it. Our mind functions faster than we could ever imagine, but the tasks or output of the minds processes may be acted out by our body or senses in a slower way, and sometimes we may not even be aware of it. Critical thinking, on the other hand, is the extreme opposite of spontaneous thinking. It is referred to as disciplined thinking as it requires thorough analysis, comprehension and evaluation of a certain situation or idea to make sure that the output is flawless (Scriven & Paul, 2011). Critical thinking is also one of the important ingredients for a company’s success. Most of the time, critical thinking is only developed one a person is exposed to the workplace, especially those who are assigned in higher positions where their decision can greatly affect the entire organization. The executive members of a company including the directors and managers all engage in a planning stage wherein they discuss all the necessary strategies they should take in......

Words: 935 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Essay

...Analytical Thinking * Evaluate how far processes/systems are appropriate * Weigh up opinions, arguments or solutions against appropriate criteria. * Evaluate if evidence and examples support points being made. * Check if arguments support conclusions * Useful when decisions must be based on evidence or when ensuring choices are likely to solve a particular problem. For example linking HR reward strategy with wider business goals – needs analytical thinking. Critical Thinking * Critical thinking is a set of skills or abilities that you can develop over time. * It doesn't have to be negative, but is about developing your own conclusions based on evidence. * It's the process of gathering information about something, and then thinking about it and coming up with your own views. * Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to do or believe (Ennis 1990). What does it involve? * Being able to question and evaluate information * Solving problems * Thinking beyond the immediate situation * Looking at the big picture and the context of a topic * Asking questions about different aspects of the topic – what? How? When? Who? Why? What if? * Looking at theory and asking how it relates to practice * Reading different viewpoints about issues and forming your own conclusions * Reflecting on your work and deciding how to improve it in the future Overview * The ability to think analytically and......

Words: 673 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Abcs of Spend Analysis

...1. Why are data analysis skills and thinking so important to spend analysis? Can’t software applications be used to generate the information needed automatically? In today’s world, advanced technology has provided us with a lot of tools to help sift through and process huge amount of data. However, in spite of all this, the fact remains that data is useless without the skills to analyze it. Critical thinking is still a skill inherent only to humans. Software applications are much capable of generating data automatically, however, only one equipped with data analysis skills can translate that data into information that can support corporate decision-making. Equipped with the right data analysis skills, one would be able to select the significant data from the wide array available and turn it into actionable information. These skills are important in spend analysis as the most critical stage is making sense of the output and deriving strategic solutions based on the information available. The employment of data analysis skills and critical thinking in spend analysis is necessary to reach the goal of enjoying the benefits of spend data management which include reduced material and services costs, better supplier and product management, and lower inventory costs. 2. How might a structured process such as Six Sigma methodology be useful here? The Six Sigma Improvement Model known as DMAIC can be used in implementing spend management in the enterprise with the aim of......

Words: 892 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Career Development Plan Part Ii Hrm/531

...second part of the development plan will address the training needs for each individual chosen to be a member of my team that will help them achieve the strategic goals for the company. To assess training needs and develop a plan to meet those needs, an analysis needs to be performed on four levels. Analysis needs to be done organizationally to determine what training is needed by employees to accomplish the strategic goals of the company. The next analysis is done on the demographics of the workers. This analysis will ask the question, are there any groups of employees that need specialized training to help them meet the goals. The next analysis should be done on the operation. This aspect will help assess what job specific requirements the employees need to be trained on. The final analysis is done on the individual level and will assess how each individual performs their job and what specific training may be necessary to help them do the job better (Casio, 2005). Organizationally, the strategic goal for InterClean is to become a global leader in providing products and solutions for all their customer’s sanitation needs. For the demographics portion of the analysis, there is no group that needs specialized training. In regards to the operations portion, the focus will be on training for customer service, critical thinking, diversity training, market research, and problem solving techniques. To determine which of the training is required by which employee, the final......

Words: 1121 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Principles of Critical Psychology

...Question 2: Critically discuss the basic principles of CP. Situate your argument by referring to how a specific school can be manipulated to either perpetuate ideologies and ideas or how it can facilitate critical thinking. In discussing the basic principles of Critical Psychology, we need to establish what Critical psychology is – what its basic concerns are, etc. After doing that and reaching an understanding of what critical psychology is, we can look at how specific schools can be manipulated to either perpetuate ideologies and ideas or how it can facilitate critical thinking. Critical psychology is an approach rather than a theory, an orientation towards psychological knowledge and practice – and to relations of power in general. It is an orientation that cuts across the various sub-disciplines in psychology and is made up of diverse theoretical perspectives and forms of practice. An omnipresent theme is critical psychology is that of psychology and power itself. At its most basic it is an investigation of the relationship between power and psychology. It is an awareness that psychology itself is powerful and that it plays a role in maintaining and extending existing relations of power. Critical psychology is concerned with both critiquing oppressive uses of psychology and with enabling potentially transformatory forms of practice that disrupt imbalances of power and which have social equality as their goal. The mainstream practice of psychology has attempted to play......

Words: 1227 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Entrepreneur Ambidexterity

...use and propagation of known adaptions”. This is vital to the survival and performance of organizations. Firms should maintain a balance between exploration and exploitation. There has been scant attention to what makes an individual ambidexterious. Several reasons warrant the examination of entrepreneur ambidexterity in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs): 1. Small business have limited resource endowments. Since exploration and exploitation compete for scarce resources, attention and organizational routines, the situation is likely to heighten the paradoxes facing entrepreneurs. 2. Most SMEs are owned and managed by one individual or a very small group of individuals: the owner-manager makes virtually all the strategic decisions. Ambidexterity: 1. Literally: the ability to use both hands with equal ease. 2. In management: used to refer to an organization’s ability to do two seemingly paradoxical things simultaneously: * To explore and exploit * Be efficient and be flexible * Align and adapt Distinction between exploration and exploitation (March): * Exploration: includes things like research, variation, risk-taking, experimentation, play, flexibility, discovery, innovation. * Exploitation: includes thing like improvement, choice, production, efficiency, implementation, execution. According to March, organizational ambidexterity has been traditionally viewed as an organization-level construct that manifests...

Words: 1624 - Pages: 7