I’ve Been Told to ‘Think More Strategically’: Strategic Thinking

Improving Your Strategic Thinking

I’ve been told to ‘Think More Strategically‘! We have heard this many times from our learners. It is born from a need by others for you not just to solve the day-to-day challenges, but to also ‘look-up’ and help with the future challenges. In essence, they want you to help them. This page is a build on a piece of work by Rick Howarth from the Strategic Thinking Institute.

The Boston Matrix below demonstrates that there are 2 important axes when considering to ‘Think More Strategically’; The insights that you generate & their impact on the business and the frequency that you generate those insights.

A table with four sections showing what strategic thinkers do
The Boston Matrix of Strategic Thinkers

The Impact on Your Business

For example, if you were to discover that by recommending using video conferencing at your multi-sited business would save £10,000 per year. This might be a high impact insight for your business and would be a tick against ‘Think More Strategically’. If that insight turned out to have a low impact on the business because you have only 2 sites and most people don’t need to talk to each other across sites, then this would be a cross against ‘Think More Strategically’.

The Frequency That You Generate Those Insights

One insight per year. If it fundamentally improves the performance of the business would still put a tick against Think More Strategically. Though 1 insight per year that has low impact would put a cross against Think More Strategically. So the answer is a balance between frequency and impact.

Consider the Dimensions of Your Business

  • Customer insight – What is the 80:20?
  • Sales – What is the 1 insight from all of last year’s sales, that if the sales team did more of it, would increase sales?
  • Production – On a Friday between 10am and 1pm, we achieve more widgets per hour. What if that were the goal for all of Friday?

Are You a Strategic Thinker?

Which Type of Swimmer Are You? Please share your views by commenting below.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Diagram was very helpful and easy to comprehend with the basic but understandable analogies. Easily describes how to use frequency and impact of insights to aim to have a positive effect. Very easy to understand, great article.

  • The 3 headings were very useful in breaking down how insights would effect the business and whether or not they were worth looking into. Also, great use of visual aid.

  • Really liked the diagram. I’d say if I’m honest I am most likely the high impact low frequency, but I would like to be the high impact and high frequency. I will be working towards this in the future.

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