Growing Your Business

March 19th, 2014 by Digithales

Growth Forecasting: Strategic Thinking

To effectively lead your business into the future, you must understand what strategic thinking is and how to apply it to your business. Strategic thinking will help turn your business vision into reality using teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking. It is a necessary business tool for planning, growth and expansion.

What exactly is strategic thinking? A common definition is a strategic thinker seeks to use his or her mind to figure out concepts, connecting events from both the past and the present to create possible futures. Answering questions that begin with “What if…” or “If this happens, what will happen next…” is all part of strategic thinking.

Used in business, strategic thinkers seek innovation, new ideas and potential future outcomes.  The company can then use information gained from strategic thinking exercises to decide which path or paths the company wants to take in the future.

As you go about developing your business’s strategic vision, keep in mind the following five criteria that will help you define what you would like your business to achieve in the future. Using these criteria will help you strategise and turn your ideas into reality. 

Organisation

To plan for future growth, take your organisational structure into consideration. Will the current organisational chart continue to work for you, or do you need to redefine roles or increase layers of management? As businesses grow, more employees are necessary, and with this change comes increased head counts. Strategise on how your organisation will look and act with different management structures. Which structure will best work for your business vision? How will you make your outcome happen with the current and future structures?

Observation

Learn to take a holistic view of your business and industry because this will help you in strategising for growth opportunities. Do not only think of the day-to-day events, but take time to strategically think about these events and how they affect your overall business. By learning to observe more astutely, you can find out what motivates your employees, how to solve your business issues quickly and gain insight into more than one outcome.

Alternative Views

Using your new powers of observation, you can use information gained in forming your business strategy. Strategic business thinking can involve up to four viewpoints:

  • Environmental
  • Marketplace
  • Project
  • Measurement

These different views all work to help identify actions that can help define your alternate future outcomes and decide which is right for you.

Driving Forces

Driving forces are what shape your company’s business. Strategic thinkers define what driving forces exist in the organisation and how they align with your company’s mission and overall vision. Will these driving forces continue to work to expand your company and adhere with your potential and ideal outcomes? Your current driving forces may include:

  • Company values and goals
  • Individual incentives
  • Results
  • Employee commitment
  • Productivity

Identifying Your Ideal Position

The last component of the strategic thinking process is the ideal position. An ideal position outline will include what your business needs to run successfully, how your business fulfils current marketplace needs and the future market opportunities identified earlier. Also include your current employee structure and future possible structures. With this information, strategise how you can use this information to bring your company to the next level of growth and the business tactics needed to get there.