by Learning Department

April 15, 2022

Strategic Thinking: Grow your Strategy

Strategic Thinking: What the heck is it?  

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill

Strategy is an interesting word.  It implies that very smart people are allowed to work on complicated strategy and it’s not for the everyday person.  Bad bosses say things like ‘you need to be more strategic’ without any further discussion. The Harvard Business Journal suggests four key abilities to understand growing strategic strength:

  1. Look for trends in your work, or issues that keep coming up. Forget about asking for permission when you discover an interesting and/or relevant project. Instead, use a quick sketch to start the ball rolling (we use a Project Charter Template).  Keep talking about the opportunity – share with everyone, friends or people on the bus.  You’ll eventually figure out if you should go for it, or you should not.  Trust yourself.
  2. People who know how to pay attention to strategy also know how to ask tough questions. It’s like finding a gem… hard to find but worth it.  Start with questions, move groups to collaborate, test your assumption then go/no go with the project.
  3. Often when scared or confused, we try to pack our hours with multiple solutions. What is real work? How does sitting at my desk build outcomes? Seek the Core Need by gathering the solutions and prioritizing them.  Seek a solution with three or less ideas and do something with it.
  4. Take time to think and spread it out over time. There are two parts to this: Start playing with solutions that are difficult and time consuming.  Fight the demons, then innovate (eventually) within the new solution.  

What are you going to do with strategy? How will it help you do more innovative and broad work? What friends will help you? Who will show up in your life that you need?  Again, Winston Churchill:

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” –Winston Churchill

Learning Department

search posts