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016: Strategic thinking in three dimensions (Strategy Toolkit 5)

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This podcast episode looks at ways to involve every staff member in strategic thinking, so they can see how their day-to-day decisions help deliver the strategy that has been developed. To this end, I developed the Strategic Thinking in Three Dimensions framework, a system that is focused on strategy implementation.

The framework is divided into three 'dimensions':

The first dimension, 'looking up', involves aligning the problem or decision a staff member has to make upwards to the school's strategy. This encourages individuals to consider how their actions connect to the overall strategy.

The second dimension, 'looking around', involves encouraging individuals to think about collaboration and how they can connect what they are doing to other activities across the organisation.

The third dimension, 'looking ahead', helps staff members consider the future impact of the decisions they are making, and how they might build in flexibility to deal with change.

By combining these three dimensions, staff can ensure their actions and decisions deliver the broader strategic direction of your school.

This summer, I've been building a Strategy Toolkit to help you develop your strategy both during and after the COVID-19 crisis. In the previous four episodes, I've explored how to involve people in strategy development, how you can supercharge your strategic thinking, and I've outlined the four building blocks of strategy.

Episode highlights

  • What is Strategic thinking in three dimensions? (02:35)

  • First dimension: Looking up (03:15)

  • Second dimension: Looking around (04:40)

  • Third dimension: Looking ahead (05:30)

  • In conclusion (05:55)

References and resources

Strategic Response Discussion: There are details about this service on my homepage. Do email me if you’re interested in me facilitating a discussion for your organisation.

Strategy briefing videos covering a variety of topics including the importance of ambidextrous strategy and PESTEL analysis

Fundraising Focus Programme: Expert fundraising advice to fit your school's budget

Find out more about Juliet Corbett’s work with independent schools and discover a host of free resources for schools at


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