Is Strategic Thinking Systems Thinking?

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International   10-1-2010

Takeaways: Strategic thinking incorporates both a balance of creativity (mapping new paths, looking at outcomes) and analytical thought (identifying actions and processes to execute) , each utilized at different times when working on a problem or issue.

I started an interesting discussion in my LinkedIn Strategic and Systems Thinking¬† group in September 2010, with the question “Is strategic thinking systems thinking?¬† It’s generated quite a bit of discussion.

Don Boat-cultureOfficer of Canada said “If your need is to operate within a system, you should focus on the dynamics of systems and that one in particular. If you need to skirt, create or examine interrelationships among systems, you will have to adopt a more strategic approach. ”

Luke Van der Laan of Australia suggests that “Strategic thinking requires a balance of creativity (mapping new paths) and analytical (understanding the systems) thought processes. Most often the ‘intuitive’ strategic thinker relies mostly on their professional experience and the (mostly) analytical thought processes.”

Dick Baynham added, “I see systems thinking as our existing knowledge of the universe and the tiny part of it we are operating in. While I see strategic thinking as the imagination required to consider that universe and ponder ‘what if?’.”

You can participate in the discussion by joining the Strategic and Systems Thinking Group on LinkedIn.

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About Eric Denniston

Eric Denniston has proven experience with strategic business planning and financial management systems and processes. Working with non-profit and for-profit organizations, he has worked with leaders on corporate governance, leadership development, business planning, and strategic management challenges. He has also trained sales development and technical teams. His business planning activities include global businesses, resort, hotel and residential development and international healthcare projects. Eric has native fluency in Spanish and English and is also highly fluent in French. He has a masters in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.

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