A frequently asked question is this: does strategic thinking help to create a long-term competitive, hence, strategic advantage’?
Here is an answer.
Strategic advantage is undoubtedly THE pursuit of many. It is like conquering a high mountain befitting solely to the bravest and most professional climbers. Unfortunately, no one, not even the bravest, could claim an undisputed ownership of the mountain’s peak. For, not so distantly, yet another group is moving up, and is about to ask the winners – so triumphantly resting on the top! – to make room for the new commers.
Similarly, any company that excels in technological innovation, market share, etc., and, therefore, enjoys its competitive advantage today will be surely overtaken by someone tomorrow. A corollary: it is always difficult to sustain strategic advantage. In principle, any advantage has to be sustained ferociously in order to become strategic.
There is always yet another team coming up for your prize to be taken away.
Still, there is one thing that upholds the strategic advantage in the essential way. It is called THINKING.
Let us be honest. Very few of those struggling to be victorious in the fast-changing business of modern day give much time to hard thinking. The too-familiar constant banging on yourself – “Be the best”, or “I’m the best” – is not thinking at all. Thinking is something to do with taking enough time to reflect in silence, conversing with oneself, then, dialoguing with colleagues. Eventually, it is daring to engage in an open critique of on-going business practices, likely, customary to and cherished by the majority. Equally, thinking means being curious. One should constantly scrutinize new trends not only in his own niche, but also looking out to broader contexts, such as, emerging innovations, geopolitical currents, megatrends.
There is no new thing to acquire. Thinking is the inherent human power. Just take it and use it properly. However, not many dares to engage. Why? Because it is painful to detach oneself from customary realities, whom we dearly call – my normal life. Yes, thinking is dangerous to the ‘normal’ folk, for it destroys habitual comfort zone with explosive questions such as ‘why do I do what I do’, ‘what the purpose of my life is’, ‘what is the good that I do in my business’, etc.
Thinking destroys egos. Yet it makes Good come to existence while prizing the bravest with the enjoyment of the discovery of the spring of inner energy and, consequently, awarding one’s company with daring and well-justified strategy.
Think hard CONSTANTLY. This implies a consistent intellectual focus of the leader and creativity members TOGETHER. Creativity as modelled by hard thinking is the paramount basis for the value creation process which is potent enough to capture human spirit with indispensable good it provides with. This is the essence of strategic thinking.
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO STRATEGIC THINKING
- Thinking, in general, overcomes ignorance by articulating both indispensable knowledge and, eventually, perspective experiences.
- Strategic thinking primarily enables to articulate a specific value inherent [i.e. emerging from] the specific organization.
- Strategic thinking makes all company workers become a coherent whole in the value creation process, which is the sole foundation for building continuous, thus, strategic advantage.