Group Session
Group Session
South East Training
South East Training

Strategic Thinking

A two-day course on how to routinely take the long-term view and see the bigger picture when making decisions by following the four steps: where you are now; identifying the options; inventing the future; making it happen


Strategic thinking is the ability to routinely take the longer-term view and see the bigger picture, leading to examination of options before deciding on action to be taken.   

It is a broad and innovative way of thinking about the goals of the job, team and organisation, which takes a long-term, systemic and holistic view of the environment.

Strategic thinking is about:

  • Clarifying the direction and vision of the whole, along with its key success measures
  • Identifying relationships supporting the whole organisation and its vision
  • Identifying leverage points for change.

It allows all elements of an organisation to fit together so that they are supporting and not hindering the achievement of the whole.


The aim of the course is to encourage participants to adopt a strategic approach to problem solving and decision making by looking at the elements of strategic thinking whilst working on real issues that they and their colleagues have identified and brought to the course. Through this they will gain:

  • an understanding of the structure and processes to follow when addressing strategic issues
  • practice in using some of the tools and techniques, and
  • confidence to apply their new knowledge and skills back in the workplace.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the programme, you will be able to:

  • define strategic thinking and explain how, when by whom it should be used
  • list and explain the skills and behaviours of a strategic thinker
  • compare and contrast strategic thinking with other types of thinking
  • explain what is involved in the identification and systematic analysis of problems
  • describe various critical thinking and creative problem solving techniques and use these to help make better decisions and generate effective solutions.

Pre-Workshop Content

Participants are asked to identify an issue at work that they believe requires as strategic solution and to collect information about the issue to explain where the organisation stands, to include:

  • How important it is to the organisation to find a long-term strategic approach?
  • What would be the potential consequence of failing to address the issue?
  • How urgent it is that a long-term strategy is identified?
  • Who are the stakeholders involved and what are their opinions?
  • How much influence can the participant exercise over the strategic approach to the issue either directly or through the stakeholders?

Workshop Content

  • What is strategic thinking?
    • Definition and key features
    • Types of Thinking
    • Who should be doing Strategic Thinking?
    • Differences between Strategic and Non-Strategic Thinking
    • Behaviours of Strategic and Non-Strategic Thinkers
    • Strategic Thinking Process
  • Identifying the issues
    • Problem Identification and Selection
  • Understanding the present        
    • Macro and Micro Drivers
    • SWOT Analysis
    • Systems Thinking
    • Mind Mapping
    • Cause and Effect Diagram
    • Five Whys
    • Kipling and Starbursting        
    • Problem Restatement
    • Scoping Tool


  • Generating the options
    • Creative Thinking
    • The Barriers to Creative Thinking
    • Left Brain Right Brain
    • Six Thinking Hats
    • Creative Thinking Tools
  • Inventing the future
    • Decision Making – Musts and Wants
    • Decision Making Techniques
    • Validating the Selection        
  • Making it happen
    • Force-field Analysis
    • Stakeholder Analysis
    • Risk Analysis
    • McKinsey’s 7-S Framework
Strategic Thinking
SET - Strategic Thinking.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [194.5 KB]

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