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How to Get Your Employees to Think Strategically | Inc.com

Today’s economic challenges have stressed organizational budgets, personnel departments, changed the skill set mix needed to move an organization forward, and have left smaller workforces to take on a seemingly larger and more complex workload.

This means you have to lead better, work smarter and be more strategic.  But you cannot do it alone.  Delegation is still a critical success factor in your own leadership success and delegating to someone who is not capable of understanding your strategy or in helping you further develop, tweak and implement it, is unacceptable in this new brave work environment of scarce resources and perhaps opportunities.   You get one team and limited resources…. You need to promote your strategy and you cannot afford to miss your mark.

The Policy ThinkShop provides you with the following article to help you in your leadership success journey….

From the Harvard Business Review we recommend:

Develop Strategic Thinkers Throughout Your Organization

“In study after study, strategic thinkers are found to be among the most highly effective leaders. And while there is an abundance of courses, books, articles and opinions on the process of strategic planning, the focus is typically on an isolated process that might happen once or twice per year. In contrast, a true strategic leader thinks and acts strategically every day.

So is there a way to encourage routine strategic thinking throughout the organization?”

More via: http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/02/develop-strategic-thinkers-throughout-your-organization/

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“Below, read his five tips for how to carry out this process.”

Dish out information.

Kabacoff says that you need to encourage managers to set aside time to thinking strategically until it becomes part of their job. He suggests you provide them with information on your company’s market, industry, customers, competitors, and emerging technologies. “One of the key prerequisites of strategic leadership is having relevant and broad business information that helps leaders elevate their thinking beyond the day-to-day,” he writes.

Create a mentor program.

Every manager in your company should have a mentor. “One of the most effective ways to develop your strategic skills is to be mentored by someone who is highly strategic,” Kabacoff says. “The ideal mentor is someone who is widely known for his/her ability to keep people focused on strategic objectives and the impact of their actions.”

Create a philosophy.

As the leader, you need to communicate a well-articulated philosophy, a mission statement, and achievable goals throughout your company. “Individuals and groups need to understand the broader organizational strategy in order to stay focused and incorporate it into their own plans and strategies,” Kabacoff writes.

Reward thinking, not reaction.

Whenever possible, try to promote foresight and long-term thinking. Kabacoff says you should reward your managers for the “evidence of thinking, not just reacting,” and for “being able to quickly generate several solutions to a given problem and identifying the solution with the greatest long-term benefit for the organization.”

Ask “why” and “when.”

Kabacoff says you need to promote a “future perspective” in your company. If a manager suggests a course of action, you need to him or her ask two questions: First, what underlying strategic goal does this action serve, and why? And second, what kind of impact will this have on internal and external stakeholders? “Consistently asking these two questions whenever action is considered will go a long way towards developing strategic leaders,” he writes.

More via How to Get Your Employees to Think Strategically | Inc.com.

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