Strategic thinking has often been classified as the corporate level ability to “figure it out,” even in the murkiest of situations. It’s an organizational ability to think critically, make better decisions at the right time, problem solve like a pro and create goal oriented action plans. It involves early planning, thinking while on your feet and actualizing all the planning in an effort to create and grasp a competitive advantage. Corporate learning and development (L&D) leaders ought to have strategic thinking skills to help steer the corporation out of any sticky situations that come by, outclass the competitors and trudge on.

An optimally trained and superbly equipped workforce should have the following five key competencies:

  1. Effective leadership: Today’s strategic thinking training should include exposure to effective leadership norms and the impact leadership has on attrition, strategy execution and corporate financial performance. Effective leadership is a must. Ensure your strategic thinking training is grounded in applied leadership development.
  2. Cross-functional collaboration: For a company to move quickly, all business functions must work together closely and regularly. This requires hands-on training to experience the benefits of cross-functional collaboration. Through hands-on practice, training participants can experience how there’s an interconnectivity to decision making within an organization.
  3. Financial acumen: A word of caution on this topic: It’s my experience that going too deep here is rarely necessary. Today’s strategic thinking training should focus almost solely on the income statement alone. Strategic thinking training participants need to live a day in the income statement. This requires making hands-on business decisions that provide real-time experience.
  4. Innovative and design thinking: Strategic thinking training should introduce easy-to-adopt tools that encourage innovative problem solving with design thinking methods. Participants will need hands-on practice to learn these critical skills. Creating a systematic problem solving workforce can create superior organizational resilience and dexterity.

Strategic Thinking Training

Strategic thinking training is a must have skill in your corporation, and you will have to create a training plan that works best for your needs. An individualized custom plan might resonate well with a small to medium corporation, which tend to have leaders with varying backgrounds that lead different departments. Larger enterprises with more leadership teams, may prefer a more generalized strategic thinking training method. Many companies today are utilizing business simulations to effectively teach strategic thinking.

Go for a strategic thinking training solution that understand your needs and can tailor a solution for your leadership teams. This can help ensure a goal-oriented form of training by leaving a lasting impression on your leaders.

Importance of Strategic Thinking Training for Today’s Workforce

Some employees may be juggling two to three jobs, a side hustle and a passion on the side. This is why a flexible schedule is so important to today’s workforce. A well-structured leadership team along with dynamic collaboration can help build a modern workforce. Without effective strategic thinking skills, a workforce will be just that: a workforce.

Let’s take a look at the top five keys to introducing strategic thinking training in your organization.

  1. Operational efficiencyStrategic thinking training can help you and leadership to stay alert, on the lookout for market shifts and grab early opportunities, leading to saved time and hence increased operational efficiency.
  2. Improved sense of direction – Following training, learning leaders can strive to spot and create opportunities, come up with actionable ideas, plan toward them and bring them to life. This can spark progressive thinking and a working environment that embraces change and sets targets.
  3. Proactivity – Self-examination and analysis is a key competency instilled through strategic thinking training. It transforms corporate leaders from reactive individuals to proactive team players who go out of their way to find better ways to get things done.
  4. Ability to spot opportunities – In the corporate world, business opportunities come and go. A leader who is equipped with strategic thinking skills will be able to gauge the level of importance of every opportunity that shows up and decide which opportunity to take and what to let pass. The ability to spot or create opportunities is vital in the corporate world, as some opportunities come veiled as challenges.
  5. Improve business’s survivability – The importance of strategic thinking training and skills play a central role in making the corporation durable, able to withstand marketplace storms and ultimately improve the business’s survivability.

Final Thoughts

Strategic thinking has become an increasingly vital skill in today’s leadership development programs. It can be the missing link between visionary ideas and having a modern day workforce. And if you can find the right training managers, then your leadership teams can be transformed to versatile and creative modern leaders.

Many companies are utilizing a business simulation to help increase the training effectiveness. It’s important that you find training managers willing to create a custom training module for your corporation, one that seeks to bolster your leadership teams and prepare them to face the inevitable challenges in the 21st century marketplace.