Strategic Thinking


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Strategic Thinking

  1. 1. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes Critical Reflection of Strategic Thinking Learning and Development Personal Evaluation of Strategic Thinking Capability • Strategic thinking in sports management is a completely new concept to me although I feel that I have developed well once becoming aware of the process. • Identifying the notion has helped me expose, develop and refine inherent skills that help me think strategically. Abraham (2005) suggests there is no common set of skills for the strategic thinking person. However; • I believe mine to be logical liberties such as instinct, creativity, vision and exploration which I attempt to balance with more analytical sense such as structure, assessment and investigation. I think I could perhaps be more analytical and take a bit more time to run through ideas as sometimes I am a little eager to implement action. • Strategic thinking and strategic planning complement each other helping support strategic management (Graetz 2002); tactically being creative yet analytical to solve problems; According to O’Shannasy (2006, p.16), strategic management characteristics of ‘planning, leading, directing and controlling are now embedded and intertwined in each process.” • Having already explored Schön’s (1983) notion of the reflective practitioner, it is crucial to reflect upon critical experiences to develop and better yourself for future instances. • You need to understand yourself and how you work, how you think and how you make decisions. 1. Think – Within a certain mindset 2. Explore – Potential change & be creative 3. Challenge – Existing suppositions 4. Identify – New effective action Knowledge and Understanding of Concepts • Strategic Thinking - Intent Focus - Thinking in Time - Systems Perspective - Intelligent Opportunism - Hypothesis Driven Liedtka (1998) • Creative v. Analytical Thinking – Take away the versus-sign, these two go hand in hand and are the essence of strategic thinking. One challenges the norm whereas the other considers whetherStrategic Thinking in Sports Management Page No. 1
  2. 2. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes • Adaptive thinking skills increase our freedom whereas mechanical thinking imprisons us (Albrecht 1980); these are basically extremes of creative and analytical thinking respectively. • The systems perspective encourages thinkers to think about the wider picture and its rippling effect. They must bear in mind what change could do to the market, alliances, customers, society or the environment for example. Strategic thinkers consider the links and relationships that exist or could be created. For example, the alliance with the three hotels we recommended… • Intent focus: strategic intent should have a sense of direction, discovery and destiny (Hamel & Prahalad 1994) • Thinking in Time – past (predictive value), present, future, (continuous comparison) (Neustadt & May 1986) • Hypothesis Driven – Generate (What If??) Creative Test (If Then?) Analytical 1. Current Reality 2. Strategic Thinking – This disrupts alignment 3. Desired Future 4. Strategic Planning – This creates alignment Liedtka (1998)Strategic Thinking Process • Organization – who? Micro – individuals macro – organisations (Bonn 2005) • Observation – looking down • Views – environmental, marketplace, project, measurement • Driving Forces – What? • Ideal Position – Where?A lot of emphasis on putting strategic work in print, however Mintzberg (1980)considers the most significant strategic efforts are communicated verbally.Innovation – idea generation, culture and decision making help unlock innovationvalue (Van Gundy 2005)SWOT, TOWS, PESTEL, BOSTON, PORTERS (Limited)Strategy establishes direction, manages resources more effectively and helps anorganisation respond effectively to change.Encourage a Creative Climate, an open environment for ideas and views to be sharedand discussed.“It all comes down to the ability to go up and down the ladder of abstraction, andbeing able to see both the big picture and the operational implications, which are signsof outstanding leaders and strategists” (Heracleos 1998, p.487)Strategic Thinking in Sports Management Page No. 2
  3. 3. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes ReferencesAlbrecht, K. (1980) Brain Power: Learn to Improve Your Thinking Skills. London:Simon & Schuster.Bonn, I. (2005) Improving Strategic Thinking: A Multilevel Approach. Leadershipand Organization Development Journal, 26(5):336-354Graetz, F. (2002) Strategic Thinking vs. Strategic Planning: Towards Understandingthe Complementarities. Management Decision, 40(5/6):456-462Hamel, G., Prahalad, C.K. (1994) Competing for the Future. Boston: Harvard SchoolPress.Heracleos, L. (1998) Strategic Thinking or Strategic Planning. Long Range Planning,31(3):481-487.Liedtka, J. (1998) Strategic Thinking: Can It Be Taught? Long Range Planning,31(1):120-129Mintzberg, H. (1980) The Nature of Managerial Work. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Neustadt, R., May, E. (1986) Thinking in Time. New York: Free Press.O’Shannasy, T. (2006) Making Sense of Strategic Thinking Literature to Help Build aNew Model of this Mysterious Construct. Queensland: ANZAM Conference Paper.Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. Michigan: Basic Books.Van Gundy, A.B. (2005) The Care and Framing of Strategic Innovation Challenges.Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma.Strategic Thinking in Sports Management Page No. 3