Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Leadership and the Importance of Having a Strategic Point of View

According to Harvard Business Review, over 95% of the 10,000 senior executives interviewed stated that strategic thinking is the most critical skill for leaders. It is the key to an organization’s success. Why, then, are there so few who understand the strategic point of view?

Some would say that you have to be born with it. But situational leadership training experts maintain that, with proper training and guidance, strategic thinking can absolutely be learned.

Here is the approach they recommend:

  • Be Transparent with Information. Strategic thinking depends on the ability to look at a situation objectively, predict how it will affect the future, and plan the right moves to accomplish goals over time. For that, you need all the information at hand.
  • Ensure Clarity Across the Organization.  Be sure your organizational mission, strategy and culture is clear, believable and well understood by all.  This creates the foundation to create a strong set of current and future leaders.
  • Create Support Systems.  Pair new managers with experienced leaders with influence who are skilled at strategic thinking to encourage strategic thinking and questioning to better solve complex problems.
  • Accentuate the Future.  Set up a system that rewards thinking ahead. The “just do it” reaction should only be preceded by assessing which move will have the greatest benefit in the long term. Managers need to learn to adopt a future perspective.

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