Everyone knows corporations need to have a strategy. But far fewer people apply this to their own lives. Learn how and why strategic thinking is relevant for individuals, as well.
- Everyone knows corporations need to have a strategy. "We're going to expand to Latin America first, "then to Asia. "We're going to launch the sports car "and then the sedan. "We're going to cut our product line "by 50% and only focus on our most profitable items." Those are all potentially solid strategic decisions at the enterprise level. But strategy isn't just for corporations. Teams, of course, need to have their own strategies in order to implement what the corporation wants to do. If we're expanding in Latin America, HR might need to focus on hiring more Spanish and Portuguese speaking employees.
Operations might need to rent office space in Sao Paulo and Bogota. And marketing will want to start conducting regional focus groups. The fact that they're doing those things means they're not doing something else. And that's a strategic choice. But finally, it also comes down to the individual level as well. To make yourself maximally effective at work it pays to understand, intimately, your company's strategy and your teams. You could be the best in the world at a given task but if your boss doesn't care about it or consider it relevant, it's almost like it didn't happen.
It's not going to get noticed or recognized. You have to align your own strategy and how you spend your time with what will matter and make a difference in your organizational context. What will get them to take notice and say, "Wow, she is really killing it." And keep in mind, strategic thinking shouldn't just extend to how you're spending your time at work. It also impacts your entire career, not just the job you're doing now. Ask yourself, "Where do I want to be in "three years or five years?" Am I on that path now? Or are there things I could be doing to increase the chances of that outcome? Learning a new skill, or getting more international experience, or volunteering to lead a certain committee maybe.
Thinking about your career with a long term strategic view can reap major rewards for you down the line.
- Embracing the strategic mindset
- Making time
- Learning from the past
- Getting details right
- Strategic thinking with a team
- Measuring success