You already have the tools you need to help your team succeed—your strategic thinking skills. Your ability to think strategically is the most important leadership trait you can have—more important than your innovativeness, influence, communication skills, or ability to get things done. According to 60,000 managers from more than 140 countries, it makes you one of the most highly effective leaders. To understand how you can do this, my colleague Charmian Hall and I interviewed 15 experts anywhere from university professors to CEOs who have thought deeply about this challenge. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Fantastic leadership: It is about leading people and guiding them towards the accomplisment of a common goal. OPENING: This is what Planning often looks like, something placed into a binder and forgotten – it’s relevance long since dissipated.
In a bit of a paradoxical cycle strategic thinking leads to a vision of the organizations future which then leads to strategy formulation and thus more strategic thinking. For us each member must be both an expert in their particular area (Counter-Piracy) and also have situational awareness of the other areas that make up our enterprise – such as BMD, cyber-security and our operations in ISAF. Strategic thinking is a powerful and valuable skill, one that leads to greater chances of success in your professional and personal projects.
It means understanding and even influencing the correlation of myriad forces that impact our lives daily. Most of us are static thinkers who tend to make decisions only for today, and so strategic thinking skills must be learned, cultivated, practiced, and applied. Another fast-paced game, Forza, a car racing game, may help improve your ability to make accurate decisions under pressure. Information (White) – considering purely what information is available, what are the facts?
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You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. This does not mean that other traits are unimportant, but if you want your team to excel, you need to share your strategic thinking skills with them.

Ingrid Bonn (2001) provides a good analysis of what constitutes strategic thinking at the individual Level: 1) A holistic understanding of the organization and its environment, 2) creativity, 3) a vision of the future of the organization. This forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style, and helps you to get a more rounded view of a situation.
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Gerber advocates that finding a repeatable formula produces predictable results, the way McDonald’s has a proven operating manual for a successful restaurant. We Might consider and re-consider our approach to Maritime Security – Perhaps the Vision of the Future is a Secure and Prosperous Somalia.
More importantly how can your expertise in Counter-Piracy assist another expert in the organization? Often, though, they may fail to look at a problem from an emotional, intuitive, creative or negative viewpoint.
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As Greeley pointed out, what will most change your market often emanates from unexpected sources.
You don’t want your people to blindly follow the past, but you want to show them the key activities they must stick to in order to maintain a competitive advantage.
It has better Pay More Responsibility and of Course More Travel and More Time Spent Away From Family – at least at first. Must be able to see the fine points of our expertise and also how these fine points fit into the larger picture.

This can mean that they underestimate resistance to plans, fail to make creative leaps and do not make essential contingency plans.Similarly, pessimists may be excessively defensive, and more emotional people may fail to look at decisions calmly and rationally. Matt Reilly, senior managing director of Accenture Management Consulting, North America, and Matt Greeley, CEO of Brightidea, both advocate formal business-idea competitions. When your people know what makes you great, and they stick to those differentiators, they know they are going to win, so they play with confidence and calmness. Gerber similarly suggests you think carefully about the vocabulary you use because it shapes the reality in which your people think. It is not a replacement for planning nor is it designed to add to any current planning mechanism.
Think of where Management’s focus is on for a moment; control measures, analytics, data, policies, rules, command and control, and a strict adherence to roles in the organization.
In other words “Stay in your Lane.” Leadership on the other hand is about influence as is Strategic Thinking. De Bono describes 6 different types of thinking that we do all the time and associates each with a different colour hat. Hold one-hour brainstorms for your team to solve the week’s most pressing business challenge. Moreover, the application of strategic thinking does not attempt to control the external environment like planning attempts to do because of risk. The byproduct of this curiosity is wisdom (Bell, 2002.) Can we really develop wisdom through Strategic Thinking?
Risk in the view of strategic thinking is yet another piece of the puzzle that makes up overall strategy making. We knew our enemy or at least we knew the threat and ours was a reactionary approach to this external known threat.
Wisdom is the ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience understanding, common-sense and insight (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 1998.) This wisdom begins to coalesce into a vision for the future. What is the difference between planning for the Future and Visioning the Future you may ask? I argue through learning and adapting on a continuous basis using our organizational vision as a compass – in this way we influence and are influenced by our environment.
There is no planning capable of a never ending chaotic every changing external environment, however, there is a way to influence it and that is through a learning paradigm – this is STRATEGIC THINKING.

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