How Can You Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills?

If asking any experienced business leader what the single most important ingredient for success in business is, the response would likely be the capacity to execute a well thought out business strategy. Part of strategy execution is also the existence of a written business strategy at the core of any business. Without a long-term business strategy, there is no business. Without proper strategy execution, a well-thought-out business strategy written nicely on paper will definitely fail.

Strategic thinking, therefore, is important to any business person, manager and leader. The ability of strategic thinking allows for you to plan both long-term and short-term, and helps you to adjust your strategic plan along the way, in accordance with your (changing) operational environment.

How can you improve your strategic thinking skills? There are definitely many ways, at the core of which is to understand better how your brain works! Your brain likes to be challenged, at any age, because pushing yourself beyond old limits and patterns of behavior and thinking will allow for your brain to perform better. Continuous learning, including unlearning old behaviors and patterns, is therefore at the core of being a good strategist.

Moreover, challenging yourself, including your attitude and beliefs, allows for you to gain completely new experiences and perspectives. That is why it is so important for any good strategist to remain curious throughout career and life, know how to question things, and learn how to see the big picture. Enough rest and sleep are also important, as well as distancing oneself regularly from any noise in one´s surrounding: that is, taking time out on a daily basis to meditate and to find a quiet place where you can distance yourself from the everyday noise in your life. It can be as short as a few minutes.

Since many business people and leaders, including entrepreneurs, find their existence at times being rather lonesome, it is extremely important to find people to exchange ideas and thoughts with. If you are an online entrepreneur, for instance, you can selectively join various groups and activities both in the 3D world and online. We are all social beings and depend on other human beings in many ways. Asking others for help, and/or gaining perspective by engaging with different kinds of people in both business and private will definitely be an enriching experience and an eye-opener for anyone who wants to improve and develop her/his strategic thinking skills.

What other ways can you think of? Please comment and share your experiences, ideas, and thoughts!

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Anne-Maria Yritys
ANNE-MARIA is a business owner and a sustainable entrepreneur with a purpose of making this world a better place. She holds an MBA in international business management in addition to her many other professional certificates and qualifications. With a background in hospitality management and banking, she now runs her own small (online) business dedicated to helping other businesses and people to survive and to thrive in today's competitive global business landscape. With a many-sided international background, Anne-Maria communicates fluently in several languages. She has a passion for inspiring leadership and authentic, positive communication. She is a Global Citizen with a love for humanity who values ethical leadership and responsible decision-making. She believes that advanced communication, empowerment, knowledge, continuous development and learning contribute to sustainable economic development and a sustainable future in individuals, organizations, and nations across our Globe. Her mission and vision include accelerating positive change through effective change communication and leadership. She Tweets @annemariayritys & @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to Leading With Passion to receive my latest posts.
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Larry Tyler

I really enjoyed your article. How can you improve your strategic thinking skills? I would answer by saying use strategic listening. Some of the best ideas I have embraced from my staff came from people that knew the lest about what we were doing. We must be mindful not to overthink when looking for solutions. Thank you for a great article.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thank you for your comment and feedback. Listening, and strategic listening is very important. And what a great idea to listen to a variety of people, not only those who are directly involved in what you are doing. Gaining new perspectives from “fresh sources” can definitely give completely new insights and perhaps creative solutions and innovative ideas to different challenges.