"Do you have to have an offsite meeting for your team to do strategic thinking?"
A creating strategic impact workshop attendee asked this question.
My unequivocal answer was, "No."
We teach examples of strategic thinking exercises in a structured way. Workshop attendees also practice using them in workshop settings resembling an offsite meeting environment.
Despite teaching our strategic thinking exercises in a workshop environment, you can use most of them in multiple ways and settings. This flexibility makes it practical to incorporate strategic thinking exercises throughout the business day on a daily basis.
11 Examples of Strategic Thinking without an Offsite Meeting
These are all ways to introduce strategic discussions within the workday without ever changing your location:
- Use the granddaddy of all strategic thinking questions EVERY time it's appropriate: What are we trying to achieve?
- Go out of your way to connect initiatives and activities to the organization's strategic direction.
- Develop a working command of ten to fifteen strategic thinking questions that fit many of the business and organizational situations you encounter.
- Have a go-to technique that works in small meetings to increase the number and range of ideas a group is considering.
- Identify several analogous situations with similar characteristics to your organization, its markets, its customers, and the competitive set.
- Don't fool yourself into thinking only long-term situations are strategic and miss strategic implications in near-term issues affecting important aspects of your organization.
- Create and continually grow the list of strategic thinkers you can involve in the initiatives in which you participate or lead.
- Be able to use a four-box grid or some other approach to plot ideas relative to one another and prioritize the best ones to pursue.
- Continually work on developing and enhancing your political capital to gain comfort challenging thinking and actions that are off strategy.
- Keep up to date on the edges of your industry and other areas related to your organization because the edges are where change happens.
- Work on your ability to anticipate what might happen in your organization and industry based on other events taking place.
Doing Strategic Thinking Daily
Do you have to be strong at all these suggestions? If you want to go to the head of the "being able to address strategy at a moment's notice" class, yes, you do.
If you simply want to push your organization to develop smarter strategies, being able to use even a couple of these examples of strategic thinking will have a noticeable performance impact to improve results. – Mike Brown