I mentioned teaching a strategic thinking skills workshop for a client's newly-formed department leadership team. As always, I learn many new things when I deliver a workshop. The learnings frequently come from:

  • Questions that participants ask
  • Comments and observations that participants share about their perspectives on strategic thinking
  • Seeing what stories, frameworks, and interactions work best with the audience

This strategic thinking skills workshop was no different.

Strategic Thinking Skills and Better Conversations

Our client made an interesting observation about the all-important question: What do you want to achieve?

She said her team tends to stop before completing the question. They too often ask, “What do you want?” and omit “to achieve.”

Answers to the shortened question too frequently send them down wrong paths. They deliver things that are too much or too little of something compared to their client’s optimum solution. She emphasized that using the full question will provide the opportunity to improve performance.

Another comment she made involved the idea of being too comfortable with being comfortable. Her challenge to the team was how they'd make being comfortable a lot less attractive. Her comment prompted the image below.

Better strategic thinking skills will make hiding out and being safe and uncomfortable more difficult to do.

Finally, the group's answers to my early question about their expectations suggested the need for a new eBook or content compilation on conducting strategic conversations. They expressed interest in learning how to apply the strategic thinking skills they were learning to daily business situations. I pointed out that many of the strategic thinking tools I taught them were sets of questions for having conversations. Structured conversations will help lead to delivering better results.

We offer eBooks with many lists of strategic thinking questions and others that go deep into big questions that lead to amazing ideas. We don’t have a single collection, though, that covers the best ways to initiate, conduct, and deliver results from strategic conversations.

If you think an eBook on strategic conversations would be helpful, drop me a note. If you do, we'll add it to the list of content we need to create.

And, if your team needs to work on its strategic thinking skills, contact us. Let’s put something together for your team to improve THEIR performance this year and beyond! – Mike Brown

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