Strategic thinking is something that should not be the sole burden of the executive staff. Fostering a culture of strategic thinking will allow an organization to draw from the experiences and education of their entire staff. It also helps to identify natural leaders who may be hiding in their cubicles.

Strategic thinking is one of the most important traits in an effective leader and as such is a skill that should not be the sole burden of managers and executives. All employees should be empowered to plan and think strategically.

According to a 2013 Harvard Business Review study of 10,000 senior executives, 97% cited strategic thinking as the most critical leadership skill for an organization’s success. Strategic thinking requires the ability to plan ahead. This involves objective analysis and systematic thinking to identify the impact of decisions on all areas of the organization including production, revenue, talent management, and customer experience/customer relations.

Instilling strategic thinking throughout the organization can help identify natural leaders at all levels. Executives need to first empower their managers, so that managers can then instill this thought process within their teams. Effectively utilizing the collective thoughts of an entire organization can help a company see all aspects of their operation in a new light or with a fresh perspective.

Next: How do you promote a culture of strategic thinking? Four easy steps.

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