Monday, June 14, 2010

Help! I can't get my team thinking strategically!

This is a cry for help I get a few times a year. Fortunately, I'm good at fixing this problem. Of course, you are wondering how.
Here are four simple tips for getting a team to think more strategically:

1. Force thinking to the future. The more distant future brings up questions about the survival of the industry, not just your company.

2. Ask why we exist. Not how are we going to exist, but why.

3. Use strategic imagery. Don't talk about swimming faster - talk about swimming in the right direction.

4. Challenge the team to make their own luck. Get them thinking about how to get your company doing the right thing, in the right place, at the right time.

5. Every time someone suggests a tactical solution, respond negatively: "That's only going to make us a little more successful next year. I want something bigger".

If these don't work - or if they do, for that matter - you should seriously consider bringing in a professional who focuses on challenging teams to think more strategically. Drop me a line and I'll tell you how to get me to come do it in person.