Strategic Thinking – Can You Do It?

Strategic Thinking – Can You Do It?

What Is Strategic Thinking And Can You Do It?

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking means generating and applying unique business insights and opportunities to create advantage for an organization.

It can be done individually, as well as in a group. Working in a group may improve the quality of strategic thinking by creative dialogue and challenge, adding different perspectives on critical and complex issues. This kind of thinking is a distinct benefit in a highly competitive and fast-changing business landscape.

J M Liedtka

J. M. Liedtka is a professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia. Formerly the executive director of its Batten Institute, a foundation established to develop thought leadership in the fields of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation; she has also served as chief learning officer for the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and as associate dean of the MBA program at Darden.

At United Technologies Corporation she was responsible for overseeing corporate learning and development for the Fortune 50 Corporation, including executive education, career development processes, employer-sponsored education and learning portal and web-based activities.

Strategic thinking competencies

J M Liedtka has observed five competencies for strategic thinking;

  1. A systems perspective; this enables understanding of the implications of strategic actions. A strategic thinker has a mental model of the complete end-to-end system of how the organization delivers value and his or her role within it, and an understanding of the competencies the organization contains already
  2. Intent focus; this means more clear determination to succeed with less willingness to be distracted by side issues – seeing the wood, despite the trees . To gain competitive advantage the organization needs more focus than others around it. Crediting Hamel and Prahalad with popularizing the concept, J M Liedtka describes strategic intent as “the focus that allows individuals within an organization to marshal and leverage their energy, to focus attention, to resist distraction, and to concentrate for as long as it takes to achieve a goal.”
  3. Thinking in time; this means being able to hold past, present and future in mind at the same time to create better decision making and speed implementation. “Strategy is not driven by future intent alone. It is the gap between today’s reality and intent for the future that is critical.” Scenario planning is a practical application for incorporating “thinking in time” into strategy making.
  4. Hypothesis driven thinking; this ensures that both creative and critical thinking are incorporated into strategy making. This competency explicitly incorporates the scientific method into strategic thinking.
  5. Intelligent opportunism; this means being able to respond positively to good opportunities for change. “The dilemma involved in using a well-articulated strategy to channel organizational efforts effectively and efficiently must always be balanced against the risks of losing sight of alternative strategies better suited to a changing environment.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

What Is Strategic Thinking And Can You Do It?

English: example of using a mindmap in a strat...

What Is Strategic Thinking And Can You Do It?

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking means generating and applying unique business insights and opportunities to create advantage for an organization.

It can be done individually, as well as in a group. Working in a group may improve the quality of strategic thinking by creative dialogue and challenge, adding different perspectives on critical and complex issues. This kind of thinking is a distinct benefit in a highly competitive and fast-changing business landscape.

J M Liedtka

J. M. Liedtka is a professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia. Formerly the executive director of its Batten Institute, a foundation established to develop thought leadership in the fields of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation; she has also served as chief learning officer for the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and as associate dean of the MBA program at Darden.

At United Technologies Corporation she was responsible for overseeing corporate learning and development for the Fortune 50 Corporation, including executive education, career development processes, employer-sponsored education and learning portal and web-based activities.

Strategic thinking competencies

J M Liedtka has observed five competencies for strategic thinking;

  1. A systems perspective; this enables understanding of the implications of strategic actions. A strategic thinker has a mental model of the complete end-to-end system of how the organization delivers value and his or her role within it, and an understanding of the competencies the organization contains already
  2. Intent focus; this means more clear determination to succeed with less willingness to be distracted by side issues – seeing the wood, despite the trees . To gain competitive advantage the organization needs more focus than others around it. Crediting Hamel and Prahalad with popularizing the concept, J M Liedtka describes strategic intent as “the focus that allows individuals within an organization to marshal and leverage their energy, to focus attention, to resist distraction, and to concentrate for as long as it takes to achieve a goal.”
  3. Thinking in time; this means being able to hold past, present and future in mind at the same time to create better decision making and speed implementation. “Strategy is not driven by future intent alone. It is the gap between today’s reality and intent for the future that is critical.” Scenario planning is a practical application for incorporating “thinking in time” into strategy making.
  4. Hypothesis driven thinking; this ensures that both creative and critical thinking are incorporated into strategy making. This competency explicitly incorporates the scientific method into strategic thinking.
  5. Intelligent opportunism; this means being able to respond positively to good opportunities for change. “The dilemma involved in using a well-articulated strategy to channel organizational efforts effectively and efficiently must always be balanced against the risks of losing sight of alternative strategies better suited to a changing environment.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

Serial Career Changers

Serial Career Changers

History’s Most Famous Serial Career Changers

Serial Career Changers – I thought you would enjoy this entertaining post today. It appeared first on the OnlineCollege.org site at this link  (http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/10/10/historys-most-famous-serial-career-changers/)

Serial Career Changers – the average worker today will change jobs about seven times over the course of their career, but few will go so far as to change their line of work entirely. Historically, people have been even less inclined to take the risk of a complete career revamp, often working one job their entire lives. But some of history’s boldest and most dynamic figures shared a common willingness to abandon one career after another, either in the search for their true calling or a simple inability to focus their interests on one particular area. Such famous people are proof that there’s no shame in being a perpetual career changer.

  1. LEONARDO DA VINCI:

    The original Renaissance Man, da Vinci was one of the most inquisitive, brilliant humans to ever live and he had a resume to prove it. Engineer, painter, architect, geographer, paleontologist, biologist, zoologist, and writer were all hats he wore during his 67 years of life.

  2. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN:

    Printer. Writer. Book store manager. General store owner. Journalist. Newspaper owner. Inventor. Scientist. Congressman. Ambassador. Ben Franklin never stood still and did more in a dozen different careers than most people could hope to do in one.

  3. HERMAN MELVILLE:

    Both before and after achieving literary success, Melville carved out a number of different careers, trying to make ends meet. He starting working at 18 as a surveyor, served as a hand on a number of whaling vessels, taught school, tried his hand at banking, lectured, and became a customs inspector later in life after being overlooked for a diplomatic post by Abraham Lincoln.

  4. THOMAS JEFFERSON:

    As a wealthy landowner, the line between the third president’s various interests and his career works was a thin one. Nevertheless, besides his career in politics, Jefferson was an accomplished architect (designing the University of Virginia campus), a lawyer, and a magistrate.

  5. VINCENT VAN GOGH:

    His works are so influential and so recognizable it is hard to believe van Gogh really only had about 10 years of life that he devoted to painting before he died. He spent many (often unhappy) years working as an art dealer, a teacher at a boarding school, a minister’s assistant, a bookstore employee, and a missionary before another artist convinced him to go to art school.

  6. WYATT EARP:

    The Old West’s most legendary lawman was not always a peace officer, nor even a man on the right side of the law. Throughout his life, Earp moved from one job to the next, always seeking his fortune. He worked as a farmer, a buffalo hunter, a bet-taker at boxing matches, a race-horse owner, a teamster, a miner, possibly a pimp, and a boxing ref.

  7. MARK TWAIN:

    The famous writer went through several different career shakeups and even a name change in his lifetime. He started out as a typesetter and printer before becoming a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi (where he gained the inspiration for the name Mark Twain). After that came an unsuccessful stint at gold mining, followed by a switch to journalism and ultimately to novelist, speaker, and investor.

  8. JOHN STEINBECK:

    Failure to become a published writer spurred a young Steinbeck to try his hand as a sugar factory worker, a tour guide, a fish hatchery manager, a mill laborer, and a ranch hand. He would also work as a war correspondent in WWII before breaking out as an author.

  9. L. RON HUBBARD:

    Hubbard is notorious for founding the controversial religion of Scientology, but that was just one branch of his winding career path. He started out as a pulp fiction writer, then spent time as a gold prospector in Puerto Rico, a Hollywood screenwriter, an expeditioner in Alaska, a lieutenant in the Navy, an occultist (which probably didn’t pay very well), and a yacht-sitter.

  10. ABRAHAM LINCOLN:

    The man from the log cabin had his share of defeats while trying to break into politics. Before taking up residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, Lincoln was a general store owner, the captain of a state militia, a postmaster, a county surveyor, and a self-taught lawyer with his own practice.

  11. FREDERICK DOUGLAS:

    The definition of a self-made man, Frederick Douglas worked his way up from slavery to careers as an abolitionist, an author, a bank president, an ambassador to the Dominican Republic, a U.S. Marshall, a recorder of deeds in Washington, D.C., consul-general to Haiti, and a house builder.

  12. RAY KROC:

    Kroc’s working life began at the tender age of 15, when he lied about his age in order to gain admittance to the military during World War I. Careers as a piano player, a jazz musician, a paper cup salesman, and a radio DJ that followed didn’t take. It wasn’t until he worked in a restaurant and began a relationship with the McDonald brothers while selling milkshake machines that he found his calling in fast food.

  13. GEORGE W. BUSH:

    Here’s one from the “recent history” file. The eldest son of our 41st president did not have a straight shot to his old man’s seat in the Oval Office. Dubya spent time in Big Oil before and after an unsuccessful run at Congress, then jumped back into politics to serve as a campaign advisor to his dad. After that came a stint as managing partner of the Texas Rangers, then campaign advisor again, and finally he broke through as governor of Texas. It was all politics from there on out, except for that one time he pretended to be a fighter pilot.

  14. HARLAND SANDERS:

    We defy you to name a more famous person in fried chickendom. Before starting KFC, The Colonel bounced around from a railroad worker, to lawyer, to barber, back to railroad worker, to insurance salesman, to Chamber of Commerce secretary, to tire salesman. The first iteration of his fried chicken business came at a gas station he opened at age 40.

    Serial Career Changers -this post appeared originally on the OnlineCollege.org site at this link  (http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/10/10/historys-most-famous-serial-career-changers/)

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

>

History’s Most Famous Serial Career Changers

History’s Most Famous Serial Career Changers

I thought you would enjoy this entertaining post today. It appeared first on the OnlineCollege.org site at this link  (http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/10/10/historys-most-famous-serial-career-changers/)

The average worker today will change jobs about seven times over the course of their career, but few will go so far as to change their line of work entirely. Historically, people have been even less inclined to take the risk of a complete career revamp, often working one job their entire lives. But some of history’s boldest and most dynamic figures shared a common willingness to abandon one career after another, either in the search for their true calling or a simple inability to focus their interests on one particular area. Such famous people are proof that there’s no shame in being a perpetual career changer.

  1. LEONARDO DA VINCI:

    The original Renaissance Man, da Vinci was one of the most inquisitive, brilliant humans to ever live and he had a resume to prove it. Engineer, painter, architect, geographer, paleontologist, biologist, zoologist, and writer were all hats he wore during his 67 years of life.

  2. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN:

    Printer. Writer. Book store manager. General store owner. Journalist. Newspaper owner. Inventor. Scientist. Congressman. Ambassador. Ben Franklin never stood still and did more in a dozen different careers than most people could hope to do in one.

  3. HERMAN MELVILLE:

    Both before and after achieving literary success, Melville carved out a number of different careers, trying to make ends meet. He starting working at 18 as a surveyor, served as a hand on a number of whaling vessels, taught school, tried his hand at banking, lectured, and became a customs inspector later in life after being overlooked for a diplomatic post by Abraham Lincoln.

  4. THOMAS JEFFERSON:

    As a wealthy landowner, the line between the third president’s various interests and his career works was a thin one. Nevertheless, besides his career in politics, Jefferson was an accomplished architect (designing the University of Virginia campus), a lawyer, and a magistrate.

  5. VINCENT VAN GOGH:

    His works are so influential and so recognizable it is hard to believe van Gogh really only had about 10 years of life that he devoted to painting before he died. He spent many (often unhappy) years working as an art dealer, a teacher at a boarding school, a minister’s assistant, a bookstore employee, and a missionary before another artist convinced him to go to art school.

  6. WYATT EARP:

    The Old West’s most legendary lawman was not always a peace officer, nor even a man on the right side of the law. Throughout his life, Earp moved from one job to the next, always seeking his fortune. He worked as a farmer, a buffalo hunter, a bet-taker at boxing matches, a race-horse owner, a teamster, a miner, possibly a pimp, and a boxing ref.

  7. MARK TWAIN:

    The famous writer went through several different career shakeups and even a name change in his lifetime. He started out as a typesetter and printer before becoming a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi (where he gained the inspiration for the name Mark Twain). After that came an unsuccessful stint at gold mining, followed by a switch to journalism and ultimately to novelist, speaker, and investor.

  8. JOHN STEINBECK:

    Failure to become a published writer spurred a young Steinbeck to try his hand as a sugar factory worker, a tour guide, a fish hatchery manager, a mill laborer, and a ranch hand. He would also work as a war correspondent in WWII before breaking out as an author.

  9. L. RON HUBBARD:

    Hubbard is notorious for founding the controversial religion of Scientology, but that was just one branch of his winding career path. He started out as a pulp fiction writer, then spent time as a gold prospector in Puerto Rico, a Hollywood screenwriter, an expeditioner in Alaska, a lieutenant in the Navy, an occultist (which probably didn’t pay very well), and a yacht-sitter.

  10. ABRAHAM LINCOLN:

    The man from the log cabin had his share of defeats while trying to break into politics. Before taking up residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, Lincoln was a general store owner, the captain of a state militia, a postmaster, a county surveyor, and a self-taught lawyer with his own practice.

  11. FREDERICK DOUGLAS:

    The definition of a self-made man, Frederick Douglas worked his way up from slavery to careers as an abolitionist, an author, a bank president, an ambassador to the Dominican Republic, a U.S. Marshall, a recorder of deeds in Washington, D.C., consul-general to Haiti, and a house builder.

  12. RAY KROC:

    Kroc’s working life began at the tender age of 15, when he lied about his age in order to gain admittance to the military during World War I. Careers as a piano player, a jazz musician, a paper cup salesman, and a radio DJ that followed didn’t take. It wasn’t until he worked in a restaurant and began a relationship with the McDonald brothers while selling milkshake machines that he found his calling in fast food.

  13. GEORGE W. BUSH:

    Here’s one from the “recent history” file. The eldest son of our 41st president did not have a straight shot to his old man’s seat in the Oval Office. Dubya spent time in Big Oil before and after an unsuccessful run at Congress, then jumped back into politics to serve as a campaign advisor to his dad. After that came a stint as managing partner of the Texas Rangers, then campaign advisor again, and finally he broke through as governor of Texas. It was all politics from there on out, except for that one time he pretended to be a fighter pilot.

  14. HARLAND SANDERS:

    We defy you to name a more famous person in fried chickendom. Before starting KFC, The Colonel bounced around from a railroad worker, to lawyer, to barber, back to railroad worker, to insurance salesman, to Chamber of Commerce secretary, to tire salesman. The first iteration of his fried chicken business came at a gas station he opened at age 40.

    This post appeared originally on the OnlineCollege.org site at this link  (http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/10/10/historys-most-famous-serial-career-changers/)

  • Wednesday Quotes on Career Success