Whereas strategic thinking has no rigid definition it is usually used in reference to the conceptualizing and formation of paradigm-shifting policies that seek to improve the creative’s firm’s standing in the industry/market. It transcends time, space, and resources and is geared towards finding innovative solutions to complicated and
perplexing issues the company faces. Strategic thinking must have a long-term orientation, a systematic and integrative approach toward problem solving, and creativity. Strategic thinking focuses on visualizing the future before it happens, a process that entails building and considering different scenarios.
Strategic thinking requires creativity, as well as foreseeing the future; and insight (uncovering ways that bring forth innovative and informed solutions). An entrepreneur is often called upon to think outside the box— to consider things and problems beyond “normal” and what has been “tested and proven”. Strategic thinking involves considering all possible avenues and then some.
When you think about it, strategic thinking can have the disruptive effect of causing changes in the organization structure, through decisions such as those on outsourcing, distribution selection, mergers and acquiring new channels of distributions. Through additions in staff count, departments or equipment, a creative firm may have to shift the structures of some sections and at times the whole firm.
Strategic thinking may also involve choosing what markets to compete in, what to sell, and formulating a pricing strategy. After all, those decisions determine who you’ll hire, how you setup your firm’s organizational structure, and how you as the entrepreneur will deliver your product to your clients. Coming up with new methods of satisfying clients’ needs counts as strategic when it is geared towards retaining and attracting buyers and consumers of your product.
When you are a creative, and are trying to introduce a new product to the market, or offering an alternative, you do not necessarily have to do what others are doing. That would make yours a “me-too” kind of business. As a creative entrepreneur you must think strategically beyond the existing ecosystems and open your eyes to opportunities that create new ecosystems or even at times render the existing ones obsolete.
Since an entrepreneur, creative or otherwise, is expected to be bold, one must be willing and able to take the risk and follow up on opportunities for new knowledge creation in emerging industries. Invest in start-ups that you believe can be successful, even when you can’t find hard evidence on market potential of those launches.
Identify opportunities to modify/transform products to suit changing market needs and specifications. Bringing on board partners with complementary assets or capabilities to your own is a good idea. They (partners) supplement your efforts as you pool resources to further strengthen your market value.
If the current trend is to be believed, strategic thinking is no longer the preserve of senior managers or the creative alone. Hiring and firing people also qualifies as strategic thinking since employees have a direct influence on the firm’s or product’s performance. As they interact with your clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders they can have major influence on the strategic decisions you make. Listen to them as they are well placed to come up with some important suggestions that will change the firm for the better.
Additional information from;
“How Strategic Thinking Shapes the Future of Your Small Business”