Strategic thinking is yet another distinct type of thinking with its own unique set of skills. We usually associate strategy with wars and battles, or alternatively with board games such as chess or go. The common elements in strategic thinking are that there are complex situations with unknown factors and variables, often involving other people who may be co-operating with us or competing against us. As such, the ability to think strategically is a useful tool in business, but it is also useful in any situation where detailed planning is necessary or where the consequences of making a mistake might be high.
Because of all these factors, strategic thinking involves a very wide variety of skills. These include determining one's own ultimate goals, detailed planning, assessing one's own resources and abilities as well as those of any opponent, understanding the psychology and motivations of the various parties in any situation, communicating effectively, visualising future hypothetical scenarios and assessing their relative merits, making decisions under pressure, recognising one's own mistakes and then correcting them as well as being able to recognise and take advantage of one's opponent's errors, cultivating judgment and flexibility, being able to moderate one's emotional states and assessing the likelihood of unexpected events. In addition to all of these factors, good strategic thinking presupposes the ability to think analytically and creatively.
Academic fields such as game theory and decision theory have gained prominence in recent years and can help us to make better decisions in certain limited classes of situation. As such, they are undoubtedly fields that a good strategist should be familiar with. In addition, classic texts such as Sun Tzu's The Art of War impart lessons that can be applied to modern day scenarios.
Our courses will introduce you to the various elements of strategic thinking, providing you with the opportunity to develop your skills and allowing you to practise them in a number of different situations.
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