015: Supercharge your strategic thinking (Strategy Toolkit 4)

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Strategic thinking is essential for navigating the fast-changing world we live in. In this episode, I look at ways you can supercharge your strategic thinking skills, and make yourself invaluable to your organisation.

It is possible to define five key ways of thinking about a problem. Combine these, and you have a more strategic approach.

The first area I explore is systems thinking: visualising cause-and-effect across an interconnected network of people, teams and processes.

The second area I identify is directional thinking: focusing on the problem you are trying to solve and thinking about the implications of potential solutions over a period of time.

The third area is creative thinking: searching for new solutions and fresh perspectives on the problem you’re solving. In short, thinking outside the box.

The fourth and fifth areas are related: divergent thinking involves impartially creating as many solutions to the problem as possible, whilst convergent thinking involves pulling promising solutions together, analysing the alternatives and making a decision.

By practising combining these five approaches to problem-solving you’ll supercharge your strategic thinking skills.

This is the fourth podcast episode in my Strategy Toolkit series. In the previous three episodes I explored the importance of developing a strategic response to COVID-19, the four essential building blocks of strategy and how to involve people in strategy development.

Episode highlights

  • Definitions of strategic thinking (01:15)

  • Systems thinking (02:25)

  • Directional thinking (05:20)

  • Creative thinking (06:10)

  • Divergent thinking (07:30)

  • Convergent thinking (08:20)

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 strategic trial and error and how to change behaviour to control costs

‘Rethinking Strategy in Independent Schools’ research report

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

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