Strategic Thinking

Introduction to Strategic Thinking

One of the roles I play as a project manager is to ensure that our projects make a contribution to the goals of our company through Strategic Thinking.  Prior to starting each project we complete a review of the project and identify what company goal to align the project.   This is a form of Strategic thinking.  My information is from a collection of articles that I have read over the years but the core of the information is from a book by John Maxwell titled “How Successful People Think”.   The strategic thinking entries will be the following:

This quote is really captures the essence of Strategic Thinking:

“Most people spend more time planning their summer vacation than planning their lives” — Source Unknown

Characteristics of Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking will help you to plan your activities.  This plan will help to maximize your strengths and ensure that you progress to your long term goals.  The following are some of the characteristics of Strategic Thinking:

  • Simplifies The Difficult – the development of a plan will help to will break down a complex activity.
  • Prompts You to Ask The Right Questions – the correct questions will allow for thinking through a complex problem.  Here are some questions that can help you think through your problem:
    • Direction – to provide insight as to the direction ask what should we do?  Why should we do something?
    • Organization – to tie it back to the organization ask, Who is responsible for what? Do we have the right people in right places?
    • Tracking – are we on target?
    • Improvement or Refinement – how can we be more effective or efficient
  • Prompts Customization – every problem may not be solved by the same strategy.  Apply a strategy for each problem or project.  Some of the same steps may be used from project to project but not all the steps will be the same.
  • Prepares You Today for an Uncertain Tomorrow – strategic thinking will provide you a path to the future.  It will provide the direction and increase you potential for success in the future.
  • Reduces the Margin of Error – by applying strategic thinking you can avoid making a spontaneous decision during an activity.  By avoiding a rash decision errors can be avoided.
  • Gives You Influence with Others – the person with the plan will be the person that people will want to follow.  This leader will be the person that can influence others to follow the plan.


I hope this entry helps you to identify the characteristics of Strategic Thinkers.   Try to spend some time planning your future work or activities.  You will be surprised at how quickly the use of strategic thinking will contribute to your future success.

I will be posting another entry on Strategic Thinking in a few days that will provide you more information on how to become a strategic thinker.