Think and Act Strategically
Why this course?
Think and Act Strategically helps participants learn how to think like a CEO. Participants practice using strategies and tools for grappling with strategic issues currently facing their organization and develop actions to address these issues. Both managers and individual contributors will consider the impact on the whole organization – not just their departments – when making decisions, and they will see how their actions and decisions impact business outcomes.
Managers return to their jobs, do them differently and better and are still doing so 12 months later.
What makes us different?
Think and Act Strategically engages learners using actual strategic issues facing their organization, rather than off-the-shelf case studies. We use a unique approach in which a senior executive of your organization will present a current strategic issue that the organization has not yet been able to solve – a persistent problem or complex issue that has no obvious or easy solutions.
Teams of participants will then analyze it using the five strategic thinking tools they have learned. After this analysis, the teams present their conclusions and recommendations to the executive, who, in consultation with the facilitator, challenges their thinking and provides real-world commentary, guidance, and feedback to the class.
What are the benefits to your organization?
Interacting with executives is a powerful learning experience that challenges employees’ thinking by exposing them to strategic issues. Having strategic conversations with team members on real-life issues builds skills that participants can use immediately. They learn to see everyday challenges in a new light and emerge with tools to address them. And the executive learns about and gets ideas from his/her bench of future leaders.
What will participants learn?
Participants learn how to:
- more clearly differentiate tactical and strategic issues
- “see with new eyes” the situations they confront daily; see the whole system, not just their piece of it
- hold strategic conversations in teams to share perspectives, challenge each other’s thought processes, and build consensus on ways to address critical issues
- select and use appropriate strategic-thinking tools
- ask strategic questions
- identify root causes of current situations
- avoid unintended consequences
- develop lasting solutions and generate culture change
- think creatively about options
How does the course work?
This 7.5-hour workshop can accommodate class sizes from 12 to 20. Optimum size is 16.
Before the workshop, the facilitator and the executive will choose and frame the strategic issue. The facilitator also will coach the executive on how to handle the debrief of the issue.
During the first half-day, the facilitator engages participants in learning the five strategic thinking tools and gaining familiarity with them through brief, customized exercises.
During the second half-day, guided by the facilitator:
- the executive presents the strategic issue;
- participants work in teams to analyze the issue and develop recommendations;
- in the debrief, in consultation with the facilitator, the executive listens to and challenges the thought processes of participants while evaluating their recommendations.
Approximately 2/3 of the day is devoted to hands-on practice.
How will the skills be sustained?
Sustaining the skills entails collaboration on the part of the participants, their managers, and the organization. We can offer strategies to support all three and can work with you to select and implement strategies to ensure sustainable success.