What is Strategic Thinking?

Could it Really be This Simple?

In business and in life, we sometimes relate strategic thinking to something very expensive or very clever. In reality, this is not the case!

Strategic Thinking

In the academic world, the word "strategic" is certainly a word preserved for the gurus to use as they please, not to mention as a buzzword to attract the attention of the rich business leaders.

In our own careers, the word strategic thinking will almost certainly crop up in any conversation to do with "senior job roles" and the way a person is promoted or demoted; “He doesn’t think strategically” or “she thinks strategically”.

Does this ring a bell?

Trying to decipher the meaning of the word by reading the strategy gurus’ books, takes you into a jungles of an intellectual pursuits that will most probably end up making you feel confused at best and not so clever after all at worst.

Let us try to work this one out, and see what this "strategic thinking" is all about; and how difficult or not it is in reality.

It is obvious as a background that the word Strategic comes from the word Strategy; and lets not kid ourselves, we also know that the word "strategy" is actually more expensive than the word "strategic", and of course, it is the root cause of this entire expensive business world we live in.

The word Strategy derives from the Greek word stratçgos (which derives from two words: "stratos" army & "ago" - which is the ancient Greek for leading/guiding/moving to), it referred to a military commander during the age of Athenian Democracy.

A strategy is typically an idea, a style of thinking, which sets a course of action that promise a winning future position.

In other words a strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, most often "winning".

Strategy, therefore, "narrowly" defined is “the art of the general".

Generalship is all about winning; so how do the generals do this? by utilising all the resources available to them systematically to achieve the purpose of war. The same applies in business; strategy is for winning by utilising all the organisation resources to systematically achieve the purpose of the enterprise.

It therefore follows that the word "Strategic" means - what is "essential" to the strategy or is in line with the strategy.

This means that any individual within the organisation who acts or plans without taking into account the overall corporate strategy or purpose of the company, is not thinking strategically.

This brings us to the meaning of "strategic thinking", that I am sure you will have figured out by now...

Any thinking that is in line and guided by the company mission and its corporate strategy is “Strategic Thinking”. The opposite is not strategic thinking.

The same apply to our day to day life. Any thinking that leads to action NOT in line with our goals in life, is not strategic thinking either.


Strategic Thinking - Part One You Are Here!
In business and even in life, we sometimes relate strategic thinking to something very expensive or very clever. In reality, this is not the case.

Strategic Thinking - Part Two
An Example of Strategic Thinking from British, Gas when they decided to buy the AA.

Strategic Thinking - Part Three
Our Conclusion on Strategic Thinking and how Complex or Simplex it could be..

alt text Read and download a great Strategic Thinking Study by Kenichi Ohmae

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