Strategic thinking as a system
Paul McCartney is one of the most prolific composers ever. I have heard that he has an employee whose job is to listen to tons of music recorded worldwide and make a compilation of the best songs for Sir Paul. And he, supposedly, listens to them, not to copy or steal interesting ideas - it is a source of inspiration for him. I don't know if it is true, but if it was, I wouldn't be surprised.
Thinking strategically doesn't mean having magical insights from time to time. Every book on creative thinking underscores that the most creative people are the most informed ones. They learn a lot, read a lot, and see a lot. All the successful entrepreneurs are very curious - they use any opportunity to learn something new. They collect plenty of data of different kinds in their brains that then, seemingly by chance, is converted to brilliant ideas. The volume of information matters.
Invest enough time and effort in horizon scanning, emerging issue analysis (read my article on the topic here), and trend-watching. You don't need a big team for this task. If you have a couple of analysts who spend their working days collecting, clustering, and filtering trends and weak signals of change somehow relevant to your industry and the culture in which your business operates. Discuss this information during strategic team meetings.
Form these valuable habits, and your strategic thinking skills will improve significantly.
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