This Week: Importance of strategic thinking in an organisation

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By Kelvin Esiasa

On behalf of the Zambian Society for Public Administration (ZSPA) and Consortium of International Management Policy and Development (CIMPAD) we would like to thank all the delegates that attend the just ended conference. We would like to thank the government and people of the republic of Zambia for gracing the meeting.

Personally, I would like to thank all the delegates for unanimously electing me as CIMPAD Second Vice President for Africa. This is a great achievement for me as an individual to be part of CIMPAD a group made of distinguished Professors across USA.

The Just ended conference has left us with many lessons that would continuously inspire us as an organization to forge ahead. These lessons will greatly help us as an organization to develop and impact the communities we leave.

One great lesson I learnt from the conference is the ability to think strategically. Strategic thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving success in a game or other endeavor. Strategic thinking includes finding and developing a strategic foresight capacity for an organization, by exploring all possible organizational futures, and challenging conventional thinking to foster decision making today. Strategic thinking is used to address issues, make decisions and drive innovation. Successful strategic thinking can help maximize resources, add value to businesses and evoke positive change.

Strategic thinking is the process of developing and evaluating every decision and action in light of current and future circumstances, the direction you want to go in and the results you want to achieve. It involves being able to apply possibility thinking to every situation. It is not about doing “business as usual” but rather pushing the envelope to see what can be done smarter and what else can be done “instead of”, or as an “add on”, that would maximize opportunities.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not solely the domain of the top leadership, nor is it the sole responsibility of a strategic planning unit.  It is the responsibility of every person working in, or for, the organization. It is also not a once-off activity to be done when a strategic plan is being formulated. Managers and employees in an organization using strategic planning use strategic thinking to develop plans that anticipate obstacles. In other organizations or positions in a company, employees using strategic thinking can perform at the highest level and outshine other workers to move ahead.

The purpose of Strategic Thinking is to create a strategy that is a coherent, unifying, integrative framework for decisions especially about direction of the business and resource utilization. To do it, Strategic Thinking uses internal and external data, qualitative synthesis of opinions and perceptions. It is conscious, explicit, and proactive and defines competitive domain for corporate strategic advantage.

Strategic Thinking can be done for the organization as a whole and for each department or division within the organization. The goal is to out-think, out-plan and out-maneuver other forces or competitors. Sun Tzu in his book, “The Art of War,” defines the peak efficiency of knowledge and strategy as being, to make conflict altogether unnecessary-to overcome other’s armies without fighting. Similarly, the role of the leader embodying the essential elements of Strategic Thinking is well described in this passage:

“A general must see alone and know alone, meaning that he must see what others do not see and know what others do not know. Seeing what others do not see is called brilliance, knowing what others do not know is called genius. Brilliant geniuses win first, meaning that they defend in such a way as to be unassailable and attack in such a way as to be irresistible.”

So as an organization remember to think strategically always.


Kelvin Esiasa – President of  Zambian Society for Public Administration and Society for Family Business


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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31