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Leading with Strategic Thinking

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Leading with Strategic Thinking

Four Ways Effective Leaders Gain Insight, Drive Change, and Get Results


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Strategic thinking is an indispensible business asset, but few businesspeople do it well.

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Business strategy experts Aaron K. Olson and B. Keith Simerson offer an A-to-Z primer on strategic thinking, why it matters, and how to develop and apply it. They dissect the necessary components of strategic leadership and detail four different types of leaders who excel at strategy. Their insights are especially valuable in the light of their concern that few business leaders understand strategic thinking and how to apply it in today’s fast-moving business world. getAbstract recommends their clear, practical guidance to leaders, advisers, consultants, academics and business students.


Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking involves evaluating situations, identifying patterns and generating important business decisions. Many people believe that only senior executives should engage in strategic thinking, but, in fact, everyone in an organization must apply strategic thinking to become more productive and efficient. Strategic thinking represents the nexus of three disciplines:

  • “Cognitive psychology” – Learn to recognize your blind spots and deal with your biases.
  • “Systems thinking” – Consider a broad range of factors as you plan your actions.
  • “Game theory” – Understand the results of your actions as you consider how to minimize or avoid the negative effects of your opponents’ actions.

How Strategic Thinking Helped the US Coast Guard

Strategic thinking, strategic design and strategic program implementation require preparation and planning, as demonstrated by David M. Hammond, the former base operations program manager for the US Coast Guard (USCG), and Jack Dempsey, an innovative, young lieutenant commander.

As of 2001, the USCG owned or leased nearly 35 million square feet of buildings...

About the Authors

Aaron K. Olson is chief talent officer at Aon plc, a risk management and human resources firm. B. Keith Simerson helps organizations develop and execute enterprisewide strategies.

Comment on this summary

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    S. D. 8 months ago
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    S. C. 1 year ago
    Missing some more practical actions to be considered to start with Strategic Thinking
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    I. M. 3 years ago
    Very nice

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