The Value In Strategic Thinking & Activity – Logan Stix

 

Strategic Thinking & Activity

  Arguably the most important function one can do in becoming a great strategic leader lies in our ability to think and act at a strategic level. Making time to think about the future to think about how things can be done differently, to map out the vision for an organization, a function, or your own specific job take time and discipline.

Stix Hand on Hip The challenge of the day-to-day business needs are daunting and ever present. There is also the undeniable fact that if we do not take care of the day-to-day business then there is no need for the future strategic thinking.

The whole point of strategic thinking and actions is that without some level of it there will not be a future with sustained success. We all know that if we are not thinking and planning for the future, innovating, looking out for new business opportunities then long term sustained success is in question.

So the real point of all this is for you at the level you are at and where you want to excel to what is the right level of strategic activity in your every day working world?

If you are a CEO or aspire to be one then some would say your strategic activity should range from a low of 75% to a high of 90%. If you are a Vice President then your range should be from a low of 60% to a high of 75%. As a mid level manager your range may be 30% to 60%. And as a single contributor your range may be a low of 10% to 25%.

A significant part of all of your strategic activities will be in the area of strategic thinking which includes vision thinking and direction setting.

In strategic thinking and activity you actively set time aside to develop, design, plan to execute on, and redesign (or tweak) your vision. That vision will likely a combination depending on your current and future roles in an organization.

As a regional controller for an organization early on I remember having three very specific vision statements. One was as a regional controller to align my department’s activities with my boss. The second was to align with the overall organization’s vision. The third was to have a vision for myself, where was I wanting to go and how was I wanting to be valued in the organization.

The vision I then had for my boss was simple enough, I did not want the accounting function to be seen as a  roadblock to business. Instead I wanted the operations group and all areas under my general manager to see my group as strategic partners enabling business. Mission accomplished!

Each year and at periodic intervals my group would get together with the specific agenda being are we as the accounting and finance group aligned with the organization’s vision? We would have to prove this out by reviewing our work, our accomplishments, and our regular communication making sure it all aligned to the vision.

Lastly, on a personal level my strategy was to make sure I was a valued contributor in the organization…the regular prove was being asked to key activities and having an active responsible role. As well, was I getting a chance to grow and broaden into cross function positions. The answer was a resounding “Yes!”

Obviously one has to execute and get things done but an equal contributor to success was having the strategic vision and roadmap to begin with. I experienced first hand the benefits of strategic thinking & activity!

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