Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: My students often balk at the preparation required to think strategically. Here are four exercises to boost your ability to think long-term and effectively about the growth/multiplication of any organization… including the church.
- by Nina Bowman, Harvard Business Review, 12/27/16.
If you’ve ever received feedback that you “need to be more strategic,” you know how frustrating it can feel… So what specific steps can you take to be more strategic in your current role?
Know: Observe and Seek Trends
- Make it a routine exercise to explore and synthesize the internal trends in your day-to-day work…
- Be proactive about connecting with peers both in your organization and in your industry to understand their observations of the marketplace…
Think: Ask the Tough Questions
With a fresh understanding of trends and issues, you can practice using strategic thinking by asking yourself, “How do I broaden what I consider?” Questions are the language of strategy…
Speak: Sound Strategic
Strategic thinkers also know how to speak the language… They challenge the status quo and get people talking about underlying assumptions. Those that are really skilled walk people through the process of identifying issues, shaping common understanding, and framing strategic choices.
Act: Make Time for Thinking and Embrace Conflict
…The quest to build your strategic skills can be uncomfortable. At first, you might feel like you’re kicking up sand in the ocean. Your vision will be blurred as you manage through the unsettling feelings that come with challenging your own assumptions and gaining comfort with conflict and curiosity. Once the dust settles, however, and you’re able to contribute at a higher level, you’ll be glad you took the risk.