strategic thinking

March 10, 2009

Quick Thinking Required!

I’m fascinated by productivity. Making things actually happen, instead of pondering endlkessly is a huge step forward for any manager.

When I was in Australia recently, I met up with Dr Ken Hudson, from The Speed Thinking Zone. Ken’s premise is that things take way too long and there is a better way.

Hudson’s Law of Meetings

February 27, 2009

In 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson suggested, in a tongue in cheek way, what has since become known as Parkinsons Law. It states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

I would like to suggest that this be updated for meetings in what i have called Hudson’s Law of Meetings:

Meetings expand to the time set for the meeting.

Think about it. Have you ever been at a meeting when someone says, well we have the meeting room booked for the next hour why don’t we stay till then. Why should you? If the meeting is over the meeting is over.

Why do most of us feel guilty about having a shorter meeting or one that finishes early? In a recent workshop we covered all we had to do and i suggested that we finish early. One person started to complain about this.

Why I asked?

Why don’t you use the extra time to go to the gym or see your kids or go to a movie?

If Hudson’s rule is valid then we should think seriously about the amount of time we spend in meetings. Why are all our meetings at least one hour? Why aren’t these half an hour?

Imagine how much time you could free up and how more productive and enjoyable your life could be.

Ken Hudson

Ken’s thinking is fast paced, as you might expect. I like his stuff and I want to know more, despite Australia being quite a hike from where I am.

I think you might like to check it out too, right here at The Speed Thinking Zone

Filed under Blog by Martin

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December 20, 2008

A Simple Strategic Thinking Process for Managers

Planning and preparing in advance with a vision or purpose is difficult. It is so much easier to just act and take care of the immediate requirements without thinking or planning too much.

And, to be frank, this is as good a recipe for disaster in anything but the very short-term that can be adopted.

Yet if there is the aspiration to improve and grow with operational performance, it is imperative to adopt the benefits of strategic thinking.

By simply asking what is required as outcomes from actions, and what might realistically will follow from them in terms of unforeseen consequences and then the potential outcomes of that, a tighter fit may well be accomplished, bringing the thinking closer to reality.

This will allow thinking and planning with an eye to the outcome and encourage approaching every interaction with a view to the desired result.

It gives a long term focus and not only enables dealing with short term disappointments, but also helps to identify and make best use of leverage opportunities turning situations to maximum advantage, whilst expending the minimum effort.

Filed under Building the Future by Martin

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December 17, 2008

Strategic Thinking Skills – Time To Be A Smart Supervisor

If you want to get a clear vision for where your organization is going, then looking closely at strategy is an absolute must. A process for this is to take time out to use a ‘strategic thinking’ activity that will enable you to have clear space to think closely about this vital development opportunity for the long term success of your business.

To make a business progress according to a manager or owner’s wishes, there needs to be a conscious effort to build a skillset that includes facilitation, negotiation, creativity, team-building and the ability to work through perceived problems with positivity and good humor.

Strategic thinking itself, as a valuable tool, is a process whereby leaders critically examine and evaluate the identifiable implications of their choices in business and explore the available options before making absolute decisions.

Strategic Thinking – What’s It All About?

Strategic thinking has its application and use in a very many differing circumstances, from devising strategies or policies for a company, arriving at or ironing out a business decision, to even simply gauging or understanding a situation.

The hallmark of strategic thinking is considering and defining the medium- to long-term business objectives and expectations for the future and then working backwards to the present situation as an analysis and decision-making tool for managers.

This provides the much needed and often quoted ‘larger picture’ and creates a feeling of direction and growth along with a sense of progress. So if any organization makes decisions without adopting a comprehensive strategic thinking procedure, it risks being hasty and uninformed in its decisions and deprives itself of the creativity and insight which strategic thinking can provide.

Strategic Thinking – Why Bother?

The main thrust of driving ahead with your strategic thinking is for it to research the potential opportunities and threats long-term and how they might impact on the bigger picture goals and aspirations of your business over the long term. Even if you are a large multi-national, there will be a timescale for the health of your business that you will want at least to protect – and preferably enhance.

It’s also a sufficient and clear guideline for the continued development and growth of the organization. One of the most important purposes of strategic thinking, is out-thinking your competitors and keeping ahead of your rivals.

If you can, it’s always worth utilizing a number of people in this activity. Different people, bring alternative viewpoints, often which might be invisible to you alone. These varied perspectives will help you get the clearest picture of what you want to know and understand.

There is only a crystal ball to help you (and we all know the value of that!). There are no certainties any more and the world seems to turn faster every year. And by grabbing a little time out on a regular basis to consider possibilities and their impact on you, there will be much value in it.

Easy Strategic Thinking For You And Your Team

Planning and preparing in advance with a vision or purpose is difficult. It is so much easier to just act and take care of the immediate requirements without thinking or planning too much. And, to be frank, this is as good a recipe for disaster in anything but the very short-term that can be adopted.

When you’re are focusing on the long-term as well as the short term, it must become the way everyone works within the team or the organization as a whole if possible. When the culture of the business is always asking “Is this right for the longer-term as well as right now”, then you will recognize that the culture is getting there.

This sort of measuring up actions in the day job in the light of where you are going over the years ahead, encourages a healthier future. This protects what you are your people aspire to achieve – a great way forward to a successful and sustainable future, which will benefit everyone. Where strategic thinking is in place, there is every hope that your successes now will continue on till the sun sets!

Strategic Thinking, In The End It’s Everyone’s Future…

At its best, strategic thinking is a useful management tool and an overview that enables simplification of complicated procedures, whilst providing a clear set of alternative choices and outcomes.

Strategic thinking is not, of course, the fix, more, it is an ability to confidently look into the future, although it is impossible to see how it will end up definitely.

It’s the best we can do.

Filed under Building the Future by Martin

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November 20, 2008

The Purpose of Strategic Thinking – The Leader’s View

The basic purpose governing strategic thinking is to be able to construct an overarching and defining plan or strategy that would not only provide a focused and coherent framework for crucial policy decisions regarding direction of the business and resource utilization, but also a sufficient and clear guideline for the continued development and growth of the organization.

One of the most important purposes of strategic thinking, is out-thinking your competitors and keeping ahead of your rivals.

While engaged in any strategic thinking process, a business team usually has to try to consider as many consequences and eventualities that may arise from their own actions aimed at improvement or growth. By minimizing adverse outcomes that could destroy ambitious plans.

In this process, by bringing together innovation, strategic planning and operational management, leaders attempt to develop as foolproof a business strategy as possible with a greater likelihood of success.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future by Martin

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October 20, 2008

Strategic Thinking Tactics – An Overview

Super Successful Manager Great Manager

Strategic thinking has its application and use in a very many differing circumstances, from devising strategies or policies for a company, arriving at or ironing out a business decision, to even simply gauging or understanding a situation.

The hallmark of strategic thinking is considering and defining the medium- to long-term business objectives and expectations for the future and then working backwards to the present situation as an analysis and decision-making tool for managers.

This provides the much needed and often quoted ‘larger picture’ and creates a feeling of direction and growth along with a sense of progress.

So if any organization makes decisions without adopting a comprehensive strategic thinking procedure, it risks being hasty and uninformed in its decisions and deprives itself of the creativity and insight which strategic thinking can provide.

And that would be a huge waste of opportunity.

Filed under Building the Future by Martin

Permalink Print