As a business owner your mind is always on your company, its potential, and its accomplishments. You strive to maintain vision and achieve goals by being sensitive to the market and how your business responds.
But being a sensitive or responsive thinker is really only half of the equation for entrepreneurial success. To lead your company to the next step, you must move from sensitive thinking to strategic thinking.
Learning how to build thinking skills for strategy development isn’t difficult. It just requires discipline and a little guidance. Today we’ll discuss how to think strategically for your best success.
Of course, before you can learn how to think strategically, you need to understand what strategic thinking is. So let’s begin with a basic definition.
What Exactly is Strategic Thinking?
Strategic thinking can be most simply thought of as planning for the long-term or creating a strategy for the future. Whereas conventional thinkers spend most of their time focussing on the here and now, strategic thinkers anticipate the next step.
The strategic business person is always moving their company and its team members forward. They’re focused on how to develop their business for what’s just around the bend; always thinking ahead and anticipating changes.
Learning how to think strategically means connecting the dots of people, ideas and plans within your company. This allows business people to hold a holistic view of their company and its teams rather than focusing on minutiae.
When you learn how to think strategically, you’ll free your mind to more efficiently steer your company into the future. And that’s just the beginning of the benefits that come with applying strategic thinking to your business operations.
Are There Any Significant Benefits to Strategic Thinking?
Yes, there certainly are benefits to strategic thinking. In fact, just by asking about future benefits, you’re already demonstrating how to think strategically!
When you learn how to think strategically in your business, you’ll benefit by more effectively delegating tasks among team members. That’s both important and beneficial because many business owners feel the need to be present in all aspects of their company.
Being omnipresent, however, can overload your mind when it should be busy formulating and sharing a vision for the future. The rich businessman we all aspire to become knows how to think strategically by inspiring his teams, not micro-managing them.
Perhaps you are likewise beginning to feel inspired? Strategic thinking can benefit you by drawing you up from the mire of problems and into the freedom of solutions. By bringing you out of the jungle of detail and into the open space of big-picture thinking.
Let’s get into some specific steps on how to think strategically.
How Do You Use Strategic Thinking?
Strategic thinking is best used as a way of life, not just something you do at work. By learning how to think strategically, you’ll begin increasing motivation and productivity in your personal life and within your organization.
Remember: thinking strategically is all about looking ahead and approaching the future with creative planning, direct solutions, and deliberate actions. Here are six pointers you can use to better understand how to think strategically in your own situation.
6 Ways You Can Think Strategically
Follow these simple tips to see how thinking strategically can benefit your business and its team members professionally and personally.
1. Empower Your Team to Take on Tasks
When you begin to understand how to think strategically, you will be well-positioned to inspire your team members. Strategic thinking means taking in the big picture and being solution-oriented.
Consider your teams from a holistic perspective, joining together the ideas and people represented by the members. Create a forward-looking vision for them, and then empower each team member to work towards that vision.
Don’t get bogged down by today’s problems. Instead, focus on solutions and what can be done tomorrow with today’s victories. The strategic thinker empowers team members to use their skills and strengths, delegating responsibilities so that nobody gets overwhelmed.
This includes you as the leader of your team. Never shy away from effective, strategic delegation.
2. Be a Master of Priorities
Medical professionals must be familiar with “triage,” a process of assigning priority to patients based on their short/long-term prognosis. As a business owner, you must learn how to think strategically concerning priorities in the same way.
When prioritizing resource allocation, including team members, strategic thinking means considering long-term goals, even at the expense of short-term comfort. Your goals must always be kept at the forefront of your thoughts and actions.
Remember to always ask yourself what the most important goal is in any role or situation. The answer to that question is ultimately all that matters.
3. Provide Your Full Support
You invested time and money in forming your company’s teams. This means the people in your business bring skills, perspectives, and ideas to the table that you trust and respect. With that in mind, remember the empowerment step above and give your people the support they need.
Thinking strategically doesn’t mean running your business like a dictator. It means delegating responsibilities to the right people and then giving them the support they need to implement solutions.
Demonstrating how to think strategically to your employees means showing them how to see things from different perspectives. With those new perspectives in mind, give your people the support they need to tackle problems with goal-centric solutions.
4. Find the Root Causes of Every Problem
Identifying the root causes of every problem is a big part of learning how to think strategically. This does not mean however being distracted by minor details and it isn’t about micromanaging.
Finding root causes to problems means seeing things holistically: all the various aspects of your business as one whole. Mastering this skill will allow you to delegate the right people in each situation. That in turn means that you’ll be able to act proactively to prevent problems from recurring.
Proactive solutions, even when taken in the present, always have a beneficial effect on the future. And acting with future goals in mind is exactly how to think strategically.
5. Encouraging Brainstorming Meetings
As we mentioned before, thinking strategically in business means including others, not just in responsibilities, but also in planning. It’s important to bring together many different perspectives to craft a strong goal that everyone can get behind.
Brainstorming meetings are the perfect environment for collecting ideas and perspectives. They are also excellent forums for discussing solutions to problems that may be impeding progress. A good strategic practice is to ask your meeting participants to come prepared with solutions to any problems they encounter.
Strategic thinkers always approach problems with a solution-oriented mindset. This is a skill that can be fostered in your team members at regular brainstorming sessions.
6. Always Take on Calculated Risks
The ancient Romans used to say that “Fortune favors the brave”. Well, it’s pretty safe to say that the Romans were certainly the strategic thinkers of their time!
When you lead your business strategically, you will be presented with many decisions, some of which will appear risky. Thinking strategically doesn’t mean being reckless or taking unnecessary risks in business. It does, however, mean taking on calculated risks when appropriate.
The strategically minded business owner will research past and current market trends in order to anticipate what’s around the corner. When you apply these same skills, you’ll be better able to calculate risk with a mind towards achieving future goals.
At that point, all that’s needed is discipline and courage to do what needs to be done for the long term. Be bold, be strategic, and take those calculated risks which will best benefit your company and achieve its goals.
The big takeaway
Learning how to think strategically can at first seem a little intimidating. However, this lifestyle holds real benefits for those who successfully apply it to their businesses.
Here at Wizard of Sales, we want to see you thrive and want to empower you to realize your business dreams and visions.
We can teach you and your team to think strategically through fully customizable instruction that compliments your company’s unique needs.
Ready to take the next step to entrepreneurial success? Then book a call with Wizard of Sales today! Tomorrow’s success begins today with one simple call.