Insight

How to make strategic thinking a habit

By Paul Robinson |

Strategic thinking is a buzz-phrase gaining a lot of traction. If you are serious about developing your career and ultimately moving into executive positions, you need to not only understand what strategic thinking is but to apply it daily.

What is strategic thinking?

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Most of us rely on what we call ‘ordinary thinking’ to get through our daily tasks. This is fine and most of the time it’s enough. However, those with the ability to think systematically, consider all the factors that are related, and then calculate all the probabilities are the strategic thinkers. These people are the successful ones.

How to make it a habit

If you’re not using strategic thinking as part of your work-life, it’s time you started. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, and this one will take some getting used to. However, once you adopt this approach, you’ll see more opportunities arise for you.

Make time to think

At first, this is going to feel like wasted ‘busy’ time. The first step of successful strategic thinking is to actually set aside time to practice it. Ideally, you want to have no other distractions. Many people use their exercise or showering time to do this. Allocate a set amount of time every day and focus only on what needs to be achieved.

Look back at the past

Success often comes from failure. As cliche as it may sound, there is a basis for this. Everyone can learn from their mistakes. Revisit things that went wrong, look deeply at the decisions you made at the time and consider what would happen if you’d made different choices.

Really understand the problem

Our first instinct when we encounter a problem is to react quickly and solve it immediately. Short-term, this works fine, however, the problem often resurfaces. Strategic thinkers get to the root cause of the issue. Really make sure that you understand the full extent of the concern, ask lots of questions and identify the initial source. Focus on removing the issue completely and not just ‘band-aid fixing’ it.

Start today

There’s no time to waste. Adopt strategic thinking into your work routine, and in no time you’ll discover its benefit and see it as your road to success.

 


Paul Robinson

Written by Paul Robinson

 

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