Strategic Thinking Requires “TLC”
TLC is commonly recognized as “Tender Loving Care,” and while it certainly applies to the CEO’s essential emotional commitment to the company, I like to define this acronym differently. As it relates to successful strategic thinking, TLC refers to the CEO’s commitment to Time, Leadership and Change.” Let me explain.
Time –Michael Porter, professor at HBS, author and business strategist, said, “Strategic thinking rarely occurs spontaneously.” Therefore, investing time to strategic thinking is critical, and it is a skill that will improve with time. An athlete’s success depends on the commitment of time put into training to improve performance. In the same way, the CEO must invest time to develop their strategic thinking skills and encourage strategic thinking skills throughout the organization to drive business performance over the long-term. The challenge for CEOs is to find the right balance of time for both strategic thinking and the day-to-day responsibilities of running the business.
Leadership – Leading strategic thinking for the organization is the responsibility of only the CEO…it cannot be delegated to anyone. Leadership of strategic thinking means fostering strategic thinking by providing the necessary training and creating the climate for all employees to challenge the status quo with the objective of sustainable long- term performance. The CEO’s strategic thinking leadership is the fundamental link to a robust, workable, and winning strategy.
Change – One of the primary responsibilities of the CEO is to be the “Chief Change Agent.” Strategic thinking should drive business renewal and performance optimization. To realize your strategy, the leadership team will require the courage to transform the organization as necessary with new or enhanced skills and capabilities to achieve the full value of its multi-year strategic plan. Successful CEOs acknowledge that change will be required, and it is their duty to create, lead, and resource organizational change.
A little “TLC” from the CEO will go a long way to making strategic thinking an organizational competency. Are you committing quality time to strategic thinking? Are you taking ownership of the strategic thinking process? Be like the athlete. Build your strategic thinking skills, and over time you will make better decisions more often.
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Quote: “Strategic thinking is about uncovering all the options and thinking long term.” Pearl Zhu, Digital Visionary