Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Innovation Excellence proffers the most important characteristics of strategic thinkers.

1. Open to valuable perspectives from multiple sources

...great strategic thinking is about the right combination of three diverse perspectives: front-line organizational experience, broad functional knowledge, and creative energy... People with front-line experience help frame and ground business issues. Those with functional knowledge of key business processes understand important capabilities. Creative people see and address opportunities in unconventional ways.

Any of these groups, working by themselves, will create a strategic direction lacking in some essential way. Working together, there’s the potential for game-changing moves...

2. Adept at incorporating both logic and emotion into their thinking

...Rarely do important organizational and market changes succeed or fail solely through an analytical and logic-based business case. Hard numbers may win the day for selling new ideas in the executive suite, but when it comes to successful implementation, emotions such as fear, hope, passion, and frustration are vital in moving people to embrace major change...

3. Comfortable thinking in ways extending beyond today’s reality

You can’t afford to have people masquerading as strategic thinkers who cannot think outside today’s reality. Solid strategic thinkers have to be able to free themselves from today to consider multiple possibilities for how your organization’s course may play out in the future...

4. Constantly questioning both the familiar and the new

Many people are fine questioning what they don’t support... People who are completely comfortable with just the way things are right now suddenly discover their questioning mojos when the possibility of dramatic change rears its head.

The best strategic thinkers question yesterday, today, tomorrow, and everything in the future. Additionally, the more they explore strategic options, the more new questions they generate. Strategic thinking is about exploration...

5. Open to not answering or resolving every strategic issue

This characteristic goes hand in hand with the previous one about constantly questioning. While successful executives are largely rewarded for moving things to successful resolution – and that’s vital for business performance – effective strategic thinkers do have to be able to moderate any tendencies to prematurely resolve strategic issues...

In an era of disruptive change -- in which technology moves at lightning speed, when the economy is fragile, and when entrepreneurs feel they have nothing to lose -- strategic thinkers are at a premium.

Hat tip:

1 comment:

Reliapundit said...

that's me 2 a tee.