Hi, I am Stein and this is a blog about Strategic Thinking
The Fundaments of Strategic Thinking
Strategy is shown a massive interest in companies, consulting firms and universities alike. It seems as if the main focus is and has been on providing explanations for past success and use this to help companies make strategic decisions also in the future. The overwhelming effort is focused on finding analytical tools based on the past and apply them for the future. Little interest (but still some) has been shown the thinking process itself. Alternatively, better, the assumption is that no matter what – strategic thinking is about analyses. Consequently, the tools we need are analytical tools.
As we attempt to make important decisions in an ever more complex, unfamiliar and uncertain world, the need for strategic thinking increases.
In this project – The Fundaments of Strategic Thinking – we explore the concept and praxis of Strategic Thinking in individuals and organizations. Strategic Thinking is related to situations of high dynamic complexity, high level of ambiguity and high level of uncertainty. Strategic Thinking is a core concept in Management of all sorts of organizations. Little is known, however, about the cognitive elements of Strategic Thinking. As a consequence, we also know too little about how best to develop the ability to think strategically.
What is strategic thinking?
Can the ability to think strategically be measured?
How can we develop our ability to think strategically?
Research indicates that human beings have a preference for simple and well-known answers to complex and unfamiliar problems. In our study we are looking into the psychological and cognitive aspects of strategic thinking – that is the thought process needed when making important decisions with long-term consequences. We are testing ways to identify the core cognitive processes in Strategic Thinking. We are furthermore exploring ways to develop the ability to think strategically – in individuals as well as in groups and organizations.
Strategic thinking is a complex cognitive process, and we know little about it. In my role as teacher, researcher, and consultant I want to explore what contemporary understanding of cognition can help us see when trying to understand Strategic Thinking.
We have been working on this project since 2017, and we are on our way to some interesting findings. Stein’s teaching is my way of making our insights available. More to come soon!