When the Brainzooming blog started, its focus was to be on strategy, creativity, and innovation. In fact, the first five Brainzooming posts in 2007 framed our views on strategic thinking and its importance as widely distributed function within organizations. A number of years later, the compilation of those five posts (our “Strategic Thinking Manifesto”) still receives strong readership and social media sharing.
Since these first posts, there have been well over one thousand posts on Brainzooming categorized under “Strategic Thinking.” Given all that strategic thinking content, it’s a good time to update our framework. In conjunction with updating our “Creating a Strategic Perspective” workshop, we’re sharing both the structure and links to a subset of the relevant Brainzooming content underpinning our strategic thinking workshops.
Strategic Thinking as an Ongoing Approach
The “Cultivating a Strategic Perspective” workshop is organized in two sections:
- 4 Characteristics of Solid Strategic Thinking
- Applying Strategic Thinking Daily – Tools and Techniques to Foster Successful Strategic Thinking & Implementation
4 Characteristics of Solid Strategic Thinking
- Three Important Perspectives – Strategic Thinking Success – 3 Critical Thinking Perspectives
- Strategy Can Be Simple – A Simple Strategy Check
- Benefits of a Whole Brain Perspective – Right Brain, Left Brain, Whole Brain?
- Involving a Team of Great Thinkers – Strategy Challenges? Share Them with a Great Strategy Team
2. Strategic Thinking Goes Beyond Today’s Reality
- Finding Multiple Paths to Innovation – Innovation – Can Successful Innovation Only Happen in a Certain Way?
- Suspending Conventional Wisdom to Imagine New Ideas – Unwrap New Insights!
- Brainstorming to Deal with an Uncertain Future – A Career-Changing Business Quote – 10 Years Later
- Altering Your Familiar Perspective – A Poor Question for Valentine’s Day: “Can You Change Your Look?”
- Imagining Possibilities – Saturday Special – More Benjamin Zander from TED
3. Strategic Thinkers Question Both the Familiar and the New
- Cultivating a Strategic Perspective through Questions – BrainzoomingTM – First Questions and Strategic Thinking Questions to Identify What Matters for a Brand
- Developing Strong Strategic Questions – Great Strategic Questions – A 3-Step Strategic Question Formula
- Protecting New Thinking – How Creative Thinking Gets Killed by Team Members – 8 Fatal Blows
4. Strategic Thinkers Display Both Patience and Impatience
- Balancing Patience and Action – Patience – Strategic Advantage or Disadvantage?
- What It Takes to Make Strategic Patience Work – The Waiting Game Strategy and “Wait” by Frank Partnoy – Making It Work
- How Brainstorming Can Provide Value for Your Organization – The Value of Brainstorming Techniques for Business Ideas
- Time Doesn’t Determine What Is Strategic – If Not Time, Then What Else Matters?
- Playing a Subtle Strategic Leadership Role – Tactically Influencing Strategic Situations
- Determining What Type of Change Strategy Is Right – Creating Change and Change Management – 4 Strategy Options
Applying Strategic Thinking Daily
- Collections of Strategic Planning Questions – 20 Innovative Strategic Planning Questions to Prepare for Next Year and 15 Innovative Strategic Planning Questions to Get Ready for Next Year
- Questions to Prompt Extreme Creativity – 9 Extreme Creativity Questions from Peter’s Laws
- Questions to Prompt Innovation and Disruption – 11 Strategic Questions for Disruptive Innovation in Markets
Anticipating Future Issues
- Anticipating the Future in Your Industry – A Strategy for Predicting the Future More Accurately
- Imagining Unexpected Events – Strategic Thinking Exercise – Black Swan Events in Your Plan
Finding Ideas with Intriguing Connections
- Looking for Analogous Situations – New, Innovative Ideas – Strategy Planning with What’s It Like
- Reaching for Tough to Find Comparisons – Creative Thinking Skills – Comparing Apples and Oranges 7 Ways
- How Would Someone Else Do It? – Need New Creative Ideas? Change Your Character
Generating Many Ideas Quickly
- Transforming the Current Situation for Many Ideas – 1 Great Way to Be More Creative Each Day
Innovating Amid Constraints
- Limiting the Possibility of Performance Issues – Constraining the Possibility of Poor Results
- Limiting Your Resources and Still Succeeding – The Simplicity of Next to Nothing
- Developing New Ideas when Constrained by Too Many Similar Alternatives – 24 Ideas for Dilbert (and You) When a Great New Idea Is Lacking
- Limiting the Need for Too Much Performance – Convergent Thinking Week – A BDTP Perspective
- Helping Your Organization Be More Innovative – New Business Ideas and a Creative Block in Your Organization
- Exploiting Ideas Leftover Ideas – Creating from Creative Residue – Brainstorming for Later Use
- Making Old Ideas Extraordinary – A Friday Shrimp Special
Reusing and Recycling Ideas – New Year’s Resolutions – Be More Derivative, Creative, Fun and Strategy in Action – Suzy and Jack Welch & Fast Company Links
- Changing Familiar Ideas in New Ways – Diet Coke Can Redesign – Branding and Creativity Lessons
- Being Better at Borrowing Ideas – Reinterpreting Creative Inspiration – 7 Lessons to Borrow Creative Ideas
- Dealing with Knowledge Gaps – Strategic Thinking Tip – Keep Going!
- When Rapid Timelines Create More Unknowns – Twenty-One Project Management Implications of Wanting Things FAST
- Forcing Faster Decisions when Information Is Missing – Making a Decision – 7 Situations Begging for Quick Decisions
Efficiency and Results
- Targeting Your Best Successes – Ted Williams and Focusing on Your “Happy Zone”
- Prioritizing by Value with Stoplight – Reinvent Yourself Week – Look and Ask Around
- Where Brainstorming Provides Value – Innovation and the Value of Brainstorming
- Knowing When to Stop Brainstorming – Brainstorming Ideas – 10 Signs You’re Done Brainstorming
- Simple Ideas for Visual Thinking – Visual Thinking Skills – Getting Them in Shape with Letters and Shapes
- Using Graphs More Effectively – Graphs for Visual Thinking – Problem Solving with 2 Lines
- Using a Matrix More Effectively – Visual Thinking Tools – A Matrix Is a Hard Working Tool
- Visual Thinking Overview Presentation – by Liz Burrow, Burlix Studio http://ow.ly/i9vVj (Slideshare)
- The Marketer’s Visual Tool Kit by Terry Richey (Affiliate Link)
- The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam (Affiliate Link)
Telling a Strategic Story
- The One-Page Recommendation Format – Improve the Success of Your Letters to Santa – Guaranteed!
- Making Strategic Messages: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Story-filled – Made to Stick – Chip and Dan Heath (Affiliate Link)
Working Across and Up an Organization
- How an Idea Evangelist Works – Innovation Strategy with a New Audience
- Things to Listen for in a Potentially Adversarial Conversation – Find Agreement in an Adversarial Conversation – 10 Things to Listen For
- 5-Level Decision Making –Level 5 Decisions – Decision Making without Your Influence
- Sharing Interim Thinking – Dirty Ideas? Let Others Clean Up Your Creative Thinking
- Seek Out Emerging Experts – You Find Experts Everywhere You Look
- Making New Team Members Successful – New Employee Success – 5 Ways to Create Success for New Ideas
- The “Dinner Table” Analogy for Team Interaction – Project Management – Dinner Table Analogy for Project Team Members
Managing Challenging People
- Diagnosing the Difficult Personalities around You – The Periodic Table of Corporate Behavior
- Five Ways to Keep the Boss from Dominating Strategy Planning – The Process of Strategy Planning: 5 Ways to Keep the Boss from Dominating
- When Someone Doesn’t Want Your Help – Assistance Unwanted – 5 Management Style Signs Helping Is Futile
- Taking Advantage of Critical Thinkers – Creative Thinking Skills – 5 People Vital to Critical Thinking, Literally
- Sharing the Credit for New Ideas and Success – Creative Quickie – Share the Credit!
Would Your Organization Benefit from Stronger Strategic Thinking?
If your organization would benefit from stronger strategic thinking, we’d love to share our expertise and tools through workshop training. Delivered in-person or online, all at once or spread over multiple sessions, The Brainzooming Group approach can help your people improve their skills in identifying new, strategic opportunities and turning them into market realities. Contact us (816-509-5320) or email us ([email protected]) to get started! – Mike Brown
Need Fresh Insights to Drive Your Strategy?
“Strategic Thinking Exercises: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” features eleven ideas for adapting, stretching, and reinvigorating how you see your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Whether you are just starting your strategy or think you are well down the path, you can use this eBook to:
- Engage your team
- Stimulate fresh thinking
- Make sure your strategy is addressing typically overlooked opportunities and threats
Written simply and directly with a focus on enlivening one of the most familiar strategic thinking exercises, “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” will be a go-to resource for stronger strategic insights!