An organization without strategic planning is like a ship without the captain. Developing strategic thinking into a plan and executing is inevitable for the businesses to compete in the global marketing environment. Strategic thinking, planning, and execution encompass all the concerns pertaining to ambitious goals, prevailing conditions, limitations, challenges, competence, changing customers’ preferences etc. The planning to achieve defined goals needs you develop strategic thinking with a clear vision of principles, mechanisms and metrics.
A Thin Line between Strategic Thinking & Business Planning:
A number of management professionals have pondered and debated this issue with different perspectives. The practical difference between strategic thinking & business planning can be understood as:
- Business planning is more focused on operational activities; therefore, it often omits ‘innovative thinking’.
- The scope of strategic thinking is wider as it covers innovation, strategic planning & operational planning.
- Critical components of strategy planning are– vision, mission, defined objectives, strategies, action plans.
- Critical components of business planning are – business description, market analysis, management, sales strategy, funding.
- Strategic thinking is the process to assess challenges & opportunities from diverse perspectives.
- Strategic planning gives structure, action, and voice to strategic thinking.
How to Develop Strategic Thinking in Your Organization:
Strategic thinking is the process to streamline the planning for innovation, cultural development, quality improvement, processes, operational activities, competencies etc that helps your organization to register the remarkable growth. Team leaders need to think about creating more values for the customers. In short, strategic thinking process can be defined as- “what” & “why” of strategic planning. Strategic team leaders create connections in- between the concepts, plans, and workforce that other professionals fail to do; however, it needs perfection in applying developed skills to think critically, anticipate, interpret, decide, define the objectives, align the processes and learn from the results. Business analysis training can help you seize opportunities presented by a rapidly changing marketplace, by preparing you with the skills modern organizations need to remain competitive.
Developing Strategic Thinking for an Organization – A Stepped Process:
- Develop a plan to achieve the goals: For planning to achieve the predefined goals, you must have the clear vision for ‘what to achieve’. You should focus to translate the goals into a manageable action plan and to build up an efficient team with exposure to plans and limitations.
- Develop a strategic plan for the organization and self: Use SWOT reports (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to be realistic while building a roadmap to start the journey. The strategic plan for the organization and self should be clear, focused and balanced. Using unexplored competitive advantages as the essence of strategic planning is a great way to succeed smartly.
- Define principles and mechanisms for successful implementation: The business plan powered with strategy thinking must have values in the defined principles and code of conduct. You should know the entire modus operandi with exposure to available resources, structure, governance, accountabilities, working culture, processes, technology etc.
- Planning for monitored execution: For effective planning of monitored executions, you must focus on stakeholders, their needs, priorities, project deliverables, project schedule etc. The risk mitigation is also an essential part of perfect execution planning.
- Measure and analyze the results: Even the best in class strategic thinking and business plan can’t help you compete consistently unless you have the advanced measures to analyze the results. The analysis measures should be in the context of defined and time-framed goals, besides being relevant to the strategy and business plan. You need to apply the best skills and advanced technology to use internal & external data, qualitative analysis of opinions and comparisons of different perceptions.
Strategic thinking guides to shape up the ideal future of organizations with implementation of strategic innovation policies and execution plans. Innovation helps one to step outside the comfort zone and explore the possibilities of improving customer satisfaction. The strategic thinking for business planning articulates the roadmap.