It’s alarming that a survey shows 97% of senior leaders consider Strategic Thinking as most important to the success of their organisation. Ironically, 96% said they don’t have time for it. Intrigued?
HBR suggests that there are two barriers to strategic thinking: first, the often-unconscious placement of incentives by companies, second, “busyness” being considered as a symbol for social status. Spending more hours at work and being “always busy” does not necessarily mean productivity. At CPC we call this Frantic Activity! Research shows otherwise; with productivity decreasing for anything over 50 hours of work per week.
To combat both internal and external demands, leaders can start with jotting down all outstanding duties, so they can accurately classify them, then prioritise activities and complete them in order. For every item you tick off in the list, it helps you feel a sense of accomplishment, leading to a positive outlook that improves performance in other areas. Lastly, leaders should be conscious that being busy does not mean it’s always important. If you can get the same work done in a shorter period, why waste time?
Organisations can develop strong culture by creating, planning, and executing a great strategy. Write everything down. Formalise your thoughts to help solidify your thinking and provide a reference point for planning throughout the year. It’s never too late to start planning. If the idea seems odd, start small and build your way up. The business must go from strategic thinking to operational planning, and target specific outcomes.
Do not disregard strategic thinking. Understand its importance and make time for it. That strategy will create vigorous norms, as the process of goal achievement, working towards a mutual purpose, overcoming impediments, and all those great things will become part and parcel of your business’ culture.
“The essence of strategy is that you must set limits on what you’re trying to accomplish”- Michael Porter