Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why Strategic Planning May Get You To The Wrong Place

You have your entire trip planned out including what museums you will go to, when you will go to them, and even your map with the route marked out. Being that prepared is what Strategic Planning is about. It is making sure you have what you need to get from Point A to Point Z.

Now the problem occurs when you have all of that planned out for Boston and you are actually in Los Angeles. It doesn't matter how good the strategic plan is since it doesn't take in to account one of the major stumbling blocks right up front. It requires Strategic Thinking-looking at the problem or challenge from a holistic approach- to happen FIRST before Strategic Planning is effective.

I bring this up because many companies today are training their leaders on Strategic Planning and mistakenly thinking that means they are elevating the leader's thinking process. In reality you are giving them a tool that will only be as useful as the base of thinking it rests on.

So how good is your team's thinking? If they are like most managers, they actually immediately move to solving a problem rather than thinking through the problem. This leads to a constant stop-start action at your company where people are constantly moving but nothing is getting done.

As Einstein said, "You can't solve a problem from the same level of thinking that created it."

In today's economy it requires you to use Critical Thinking skills in order to be more strategic in what you do, how you do it and how you create action in others. It requires leaders to move from training people on what to do to showing them how to think.

The only asset your team will bring to every meeting is their brain. Do you know how to tap in to all it's richness? Or are you sitting with Boston maps while you are in Los Angeles?

More on Strategic Thinking by Anne Warfield

No comments: