Developing Strategic Thinking for Small Global Teams

Developing Strategic Thinking for Small Global Teams

Developing Strategic Thinking for Small Global Teams – What’s the first thing that you do whenever a problem lands on your lap? As most people would do, I wouldn’t blame you if you say that you’d go into solution mode right away.


And there’s nothing wrong with that. Especially when the solution works. But how many times does it work? Would you say 50/50? If that’s the case, then you have a problem.


A lot of our team members usually misinterpret it when we say: “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.” Thinking that they should come up with something that could potentially solve any issues that they encountered before letting us know. Unfortunately, that’s when things go haywire.


I’m not saying that we shouldn’t champion autonomy and self-leadership. Instead, we should develop a culture of strategic thinking.


As people managers, that may seem like a scary path since our staff are used to mundane, boring and repetitive tasks. But if you don’t start now, then when are they going to grow that muscle? Who will be in your succession plan if all they know is pressing Enter?


Luckily there are simple ways to jumpstart a team of not just tacticians who do the work but also strategists who think at least 5 steps ahead.


1. Assign tasks that require a strategy to be formulated, planned and executed.


Let them experience it firsthand. Choose any task or project that can’t be completed by thinking through the possible outcomes and how to lead it to the best possible result. Just make sure that this initiative won’t lead to a negative impact on your organisation in case it fails.


2. Keep them asking until they ask the right questions.


My favourite part of design thinking is the HMWs which means “How Might We.” Instead of dwelling on the problems or instantly jumping to solutions, we first ask how we might solve the problem. That way we get to produce as many solutions as possible and then extract what’s the best option we have on the table.


3. Continuously nurture mental models and document every bit of it.


What separates experts from novices is their pattern recognition. When you’ve experienced so many recurring problems, you’ll develop a stimulus of detecting early signs therefore prevention becomes easy. To fast-track this process for your team, make them aware of the best practices and don’t gatekeep anything that will help them flourish.


4. Upskill, test, coach and mentor.


Get into workshops, webinars, training programs, and microlearning, such as podcasts and YouTube videos. Don’t forget to immediately put the ideas and takeaways to work. Let them test it and provide feedback about the progress caused by their initiatives. You should also practice change management as some members may prefer keeping their daily work simple and easy. This also means that you should only mentor people who are willing to grow outside their comfort zone.


There are more nuances to this and it certainly needs a lot of practice to craft effective strategies repeatedly but that would be a topic for another day. Just remember, if strategic thinking is a paramount skill for leaders, enabling it makes more leaders.


Your first homework after reading this is to pick who are the best key players to train in your team. If you’re finding it hard to choose, you can have multiple mentees. As long as you can manage it, there’s no problem with building more strategic thinkers.


Build your strategic team the right way with us. Keep in touch on this page or schedule a call with our experts through this link.

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