Preserve Your Strategic Thinking Time

I love hearing the use of the word “strategic” in meetings and conversations, which often translates to something important, valuable or impactful.

For me, “strategic thinking” means investing time to notably enhance your chances of sustainably winning or performing, over the long term. That kind of strategy is a key component of the organizations we work with, who want to build enduring, growing companies.

Strategy requires a lot of time.  One CEO I know admitted that while he knew he had to be more strategic – to truly contemplate and work on the future – he was too busy dealing with operational and tactical things.

strategic thinking time Tips

  1. Block regular time in your calendar. Ideally, weekly. Minimally, quarterly
  2. Set up the right, distraction-free environment to really soak in. The best thinking will most likely be done out of your office, and you might want to invite someone to collaborate with or to hold you accountable
  3. Make a list of the highest-value opportunities you want to spend time thinking about
  4. Turn off your electronics.

ideas we’ve heard from leaders

  • Create a ritual every Sunday morning
  • Think while running, riding or walking the dog
  • Brainstorm on paper
  • Attend conferences. 20% of the time to spark ideas and 80% for thinking
  • Visit a mentor or call a bunch of people to pressure-test ideas
  • Use time on a long flight or book into a resort.

Everyone does it differently. Find how to get into your best-thinking zone to crystallize, extract value, and clarify next steps, including testing your ideas to see if they are effective.

The Challenge

  • If you don’t think you’re strategic enough or have enough strategic thinking time, how do you make it happen and how much time do you need?

Additional Podcasts

More about Think Time on Episode 113 of The Growth Whisperers

What Time Should Your Role Be Focused On?

Get the Most from Your Strategic Planning Framework

The Annual Strategic Thinking Meeting

Additional Articles

How Successful Leaders Plan for the Week Ahead

7 Common Strategy Mistakes

Strategic Leadership vs Tactical Decision Making

Monthly Five-Minute CEO Updates

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