Strategic thinking involves several different components. These components include:

1. Anticipation – the ability and use of peripheral vision, the ability to think three or more moves ahead

2. Challenge – the act of questioning, reframing, digging into the roots of a matter

3. Interpret – being able to figure out patterns from multiple data sources

4. Decide – the act of taking a stand, balancing speed and quality in making a determination

5. Align – get all interested parties, all stakeholders with their divergent views to come together

6. Learn – the ability to use failures and successes as resources, debrief and adjust thinking action to match changing circumstances

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  1. brett

    very true. having a plan makes problems seem easier to solve for me

  2. Ashley M

    Very true. It’s so important to think about the entire process.

  3. Krissy Higgins

    Great list, thanks for the advice!

  4. Those are some great tips. Thanks for the great advice!

  5. Interesting list! Sometimes we need to refer to something in order to start thinking!

    Torsten @

  6. MommyPowers!

    Thanks for these- great info.

  7. Amanda Her

    I never thought of strategic thinking being a 6 step process. Thanks for the enlightenment!

  8. Melissa Vaughn Coleman

    I need to remember these 6 more often.

  9. So important to be able to readjust along the way! Being organized helps the process.

  10. I feel like aligning is a big challenge at certain workplaces.

  11. These are all true and that quote as well! Thanks for the great advice Janeane!

  12. Joanna Sormunen

    This is very true! An organized mind gets everything done better.

  13. Christie

    Challenge is tough for me. Hard not to conform. Thanks for the thoughts

  14. mail4rosey

    Anticipation can be a good motivator too. If you have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen due to your actions, you’re likely to move in and do the ones likely to create the most positive outcome.

  15. Keikilani Jackson

    Good list. I agree that thinking about a problem is not enough. You need follow through and a plan.

  16. SippyCupMom

    Great tips! I think I have the anticipation, just not the follow through.

  17. savoryexperiments

    All great tips! This is something I teach to my patients as a psychotherapist. Things can seem so overwhelming, but breaking them into pieces can make it more manageable.

  18. Chrysa Duran

    Those are some good tips. Problems are easier to handle when you have a method of tackling them.

  19. I really need to work on thinking ahead. That’s my biggest struggle of the 6.

  20. Jenn @ The Rebel Chick

    These are terrific tips for issues that require some more in depth thought.

  21. valmg

    It’s very important that people learn from not only their successes, but also their failures.

  22. chubskulit

    Your component of strategic thinking makes me examine my ability in dealing with problems.

  23. I need to be better about deciding things… and then stick to it. This is a good breakdown of the elements of strategic thinking.

  24. Never really thought of it like it. Those steps would be really helpful to think through though!

  25. Carly

    This is a great break down! I normally fail to LEARN and end up going through the other “steps” again!

  26. jaimemckee

    I try to anticipate more, but I don’t do it enough. All of these are great things to consider as I plan certain events for my job (and I consider which events to change or even discontinue.)

  27. Great ideas. I should anticipate situations more.

  28. Robin Rue

    I think anticipation is a skill that not everyone has. I do try to anticipate when I can, though – it definitely helps in certain situations.

  29. Dina Demarest

    I take a long time to think on things. I don’t make snap decisions. It drives my dh crazy.

  30. Veronica Solomon

    I am kind of impulsive with decisions at times. That’s because I am in tuned with my heart. They are often good decisions. Sometimes my thinking is strategic though, but that takes too long :-)

  31. Anticipation can cause a roadblock for many people, I know I can get hung up on this part of the process.

  32. Most people fail to ANTICIPATE.

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