Strategic Thinking


Having recently completed a number of courses on Strategic Thinking, I thought it best to write down some brief conclusions. Developed and ran by the National School of Government, the courses dealt with thinking about our changing world, even more so with the economy in the shape that it’s in. There were four areas that we focussed on:

  • Strategy
  • Policy
  • Delivery
  • Desired Outcomes

It seems that the word ‘strategy’ is used to excess these days; if you don’t have one then presumably, you’re doomed to fail. Being a bit random and having no focus, of course, does not help, but in the long term simply using the cliche and ignoring the ground work doesn’t help either.

A strategic organisation will understand it’s operating environment, past, present and future. It knows who it’s clients are, partners and other key stakeholders and it knows which direction it must travel under the auspices of continuous improvement. There are six conditions which help an organisation (or individual) to act strategically:

  • Demand from the highest level (Senior Management, Elected Boards etc)
  • High quality and diverse analytical caspability that offers short, medium and lomg term approaches
  • An inclusive process that is not tied to any one method or pedagogy
  • A strong sense of public value
  • People within the organisation who look up and down and can think ‘out of the box’
  • An organisation that encourages and permits risk taking and challenge
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