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People who succeed here tend to be good problem solvers. The training was a real eye opener for me to see how much stronger we can become as an organization if we, as managers, restrain the initial urge to ‘jump to solution’.

— Director, Financial Services

Strategic Thinking: Systems Thinking In Business

Strategic thinking is one of the top 3 most critical skills for 21st century leaders. Learning to use systems thinking in business situations is key to success in a complex world.

“We fixate on events…last month’s sales, new budget cuts, [the current stock price]…Yet the primary threats to our survival today come not from events but from slow gradual processes to which we are 90 percent blind.” – Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline

Leaders are daily confronted with complex and ambiguous situations and choices.  Addressing these situations successfully requires the ability to develop strategy for the future while drawing on experience, knowledge, intelligence, intuition, and creativity – in short, thinking differently.  While some believe that thinking is only a function of intelligence and therefore genetically pre-determined, we believe that strategic thinking skills can be strengthened and developed through training and practice in real-world scenarios.

To achieve your organization’s vision, you must have leaders who are skilled in using generative, creative, innovative thinking to anticipate and respond to customers’ future needs. This training helps you achieve important benefits:

  • More opportunities grasped as a result of strategic thinking
  • More and better options generated for the future
  • Innovative and creative ideas nurtured, developed, and brought to market
  • Avoidance of costly mistakes and rework resulting from failure to adjust to customer needs or anticipate major paradigm shifts in the marketplace
  • More strategic, less tactical,  perspectives across the organization
  • Systems thinking applied to business problems

Strategic Thinking Training Highlights:

  • How mental models (mind maps) limit strategic vision (What you believe is what you see)
  • Outdated paradigms and unconscious assumptions: Limits to strategic thinking and how to overcome them
  • Learning to ask the right questions to get at strategic issues
  • 8 strategic thinking tools: everyone can be strategic – applying these tools to real challenges at your organization
  • Developing systems thinking skills: learning to think holistically and learn from mistakes
  • When and how to involve others in strategic thinking tasks: when many heads are better than one
  • Mining employee ideas: all of us are smarter than any one of us

Strategic Thinking Methodology

Before the workshop, participants in Strategic Thinking complete prework, a reading assignment, and a case study.  In the workshop they gain insight and skills through applying the strategic thinking tools in customized exercises and case studies based on real situations in your organization.

Strategic Thinking Customized Solutions

To ensure that training is not just an “event,” but instead produces enduring results, we customize Strategic Thinking to fit your unique situation, business strategy, culture, and people.  After discussion with you and other experts within your organization, we select the emphasis, specific skills to be developed, key learning points, exercises, and case studies for practice to create a solution tailored just for you.

Strategic Thinking Applications

The following are some of the ways our clients have used custom versions of Strategic Thinking training:

  • To equip an executive team to solve complex, persistent challenges to their business
  • To build enterprise-wide capability to avoid mistakes caused by short term “silo” thinking in the past
  • To prepare high potential mid-level managers to take on the complex responsibilities of more senior roles
  • To strengthen systems thinking skills of staff professionals to address issues that cross business units, functions, levels, and cultures
  • To foster strategic thinking by all employees across the organization

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