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Strategic thinking six 6 processes

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Credit union leaders must think strategically to build stability and structure across their enterprise.

A Filene Research Institute report, “Strategic Thinking and Credit Union Leaders,” breaks down the concept of strategic thinking into six components:

 
  1. Anticipate. Strategic thinkers consistently look for signals of change, scanning their environment for signs of both impending threats and emerging opportunities. By monitoring changing market dynamics, these leaders seize opportunities and mitigate threats well ahead of the competition.

  2. Challenge. Strategic leaders question what others take for granted. They do not jump to judgment. Instead they challenge both their own and others’ assumptions to encourage creativity and divergent points of view. Only after examining a complex problem through many lenses and engaging in careful reflection do they take action.

  3. Interpret. This is the ability of a leader to view strategic challenges through multiple lenses and evaluate alternative interpretations against robust decision criteria. Interpretation relates to wisdom, and wisdom requires the ability to compare multiple viewpoints and hypotheses to determine and interpret the facts as they emerge.

  4. Decide. Strategic leaders must ensure that groupthink, gut calls, old habits, and analysis paralysis do not stifle the strategic decision-making process. Furthermore, leaders play a key role in avoiding groupthink by making sure the decision team is truly diverse. With well-defined assumptions and good data, the decision process will be more productive.

  5. Align. This is the ability to converge distinct views and agendas to advance a strategic decision. Yocan achieve strategic change when people work as an integrated system to develop, stress-test, and support transformation. This is rare and difficult to achieve.

  6. Learn. Learning is often a selective process to seek confirmation of what the learner believes to be true. Real learning requires an honest analysis of facts and causality. Success will come from a combination of good process, serendipity, and execution.

 

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