A Practitioners Guide to Strategic Thinking

March 27, 2018 © Copyright Glomacs

Strategic Thinking, Analysis and Planning brings together challenging concepts. Firstly do ‘thinkers’ know what the future holds for our organisation? The question then is why do we invest huge amounts of time and money in trying to ‘think’ what the future will hold for our business?

Alternatively do planners believe they can control the events in the world markets to align with their resolute plan? Do they believe that their plan gives advantages to maximise future potential and economic reward? When we consider planning we see that planners may not be able to ‘fix’ their plan into the world stage, but they can move with it. Flexibility can make all the difference. If the organisation can move quickly and easily through the passage of change then they are more likely to succeed.

Obviously with these challenging concepts in mind, we need some middle ground. Strategic thinking is not an exacting science. It uses facts, opinions and background to predict the most likely trends – a sort of forecasting. We see this daily on our television as the weatherman, using some facts and trends prepares the weather forecast for the next day. The success of the weatherman getting the right forecast is very different if you are watching in Dubai where weather is much more predictable than say in my home country of Great Britain where you can have all the four seasons all in one day.

It follows, then, that certain industries may find it easier to predict changes than others. The second half to the course titled Mapping-out Your Best Possible Direction gives evidence to the many ‘thinking’ choices that strategic thinking offers. What is the best direction? The best ‘possible’ direction may not be the BEST direction. It may not be best for reasons of money, time, resources, and of course management culture.

So let’s go back to the course Strategic Thinking, Analysis and Planning: Mapping-out Your Best Possible Direction. This GLOMACS training programme sets out the basic requirements for strategy development, among other factors:

1) Extensive knowledge about the environment, market and competitors

2) Ability to examine this knowledge as an interactive dynamic system

3) The imagination and logic to choose between specific alternatives

Here, we see the balance or middle ground we are alluding too. The Strategic Thinker must have extensive knowledge and the ability to examine this knowledge using tools, methodologies and processes. There are numerous tools and methods that are introduced to those attending and this improves their ability and confidence to make calculated assumptions regarding what may happen within certain time frames. With this enhanced knowledge delegates are then able to have a more accurate indication as to the future rather than simply ‘guess’ work. Thirdly, having a more accurate direction or objective to reach, the planner can make a more imaginative and logical decisions on the best-possible route the organisation can take.

The evidence to date regarding strategic development indicates that ‘thinking’ and ‘planning’ are mainly successful. The mapping-out of best possible direction is also relatively good. Where Strategic Development is less successful is in the execution of the plan – but that is for another GLOMACS training course.

This is an article written by Mr. Rodger H. Pyrah, a Senior Consultant with GLOMACS specialising in Leadership and Management, People and Business Development, and Creative Thinking and Problem Solving.

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