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Thinking Strategically

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu 

Strategic thinking is often described as something instinctual or unteachable. That’s not true. You can learn to think differently, and you can start with the knowledge you already have. There are questions you can ask yourself and your team to practice strategic thinking skills:

  • Observation – What  are the hard facts of this opportunity?
  • Analysis – How do the hard facts limit or expand our choices?
  • Inference – How is this project like other projects we’ve done in the past?
  • Communication – What is everyone else thinking?
  • Problem Solving – Where can we go from here? 

A thoughtful strategic plan has a much bigger impact than just a bright idea. When thinking strategically comes easy to someone, it can look like a superpower. Strategic thinking means identifying all the boxes that will need to be checked in order to achieve a goal – and that’s not supernatural, it’s a skill like any other that takes patience and practice to master.   

A critical element to help yourself and your teams practice critical thinking is documentation and document retention! You have to be able to look back at what you’ve done so you can learn from others’ experiences, help best practices become second nature, and make sure great ideas are remembered.   

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