Strategic Thinking Skills – 5 Strategic Process Planning Steps

Strategic thinking skills are great, but have you considered the specific strategic process planning steps needed to reach your objective? Often times, this is not the case at all.

This is often a huge challenge for any corporate planning team or even a Board of Directors. This is actually a great opportunity for board members to voice their concerns and even share some perspectives as a group in regards to topics that are critical to business. When they meet, objectives should be discussed that involve seeking out and identifying the specific actions that the group or board would support and then recommend collectively. Quite often, it takes many hours to bang out the proper strategic process planning steps that will be required in the end.

There are even times when members of the planning group witnessed themselves just how easy objectives can be accomplished after guidelines have been set and established.

5 Strategic Thinking Skills for Strategic Planning Groups

How have groups been able to agree to action items over and over again? Let us examine 5 strategic thinking skills that anyone can use when they gather in groups or teams:

1) Find the Verbs

When you locate the verb in the collective conversation, then you are honing in on the action steps. If you get in the habit of anticipating the action items ahead of time and then listen for those verbs, then this is much more effective. This list of before meeting action items will also help advance the team during the discussion as well.

2) Identify who the Leaders are Historically

After you have identified the group leader, then you should listen how they react to others. Whenever a leader agrees with a less vocal team member, this is a very powerful signal.  It means the leader has picked up on strategic thinking from a marginal player.

3) Identify a Core Action Idea as Quickly as Possible

Once you have the core ideas for action, then you can begin listening for suggestions that will build upon or complement or even enhance this idea. When you keep highlighting other forms of strategic thinking in this manner, you get to keep returning to and enforcing the core idea over and over again. This grounds the group on the core idea as they hear it repeatedly and begin focusing their own individual strategic thinking exclusively on that idea and not discussing unrelated topics. This is how strategic process planning steps can work in your favor.

4) Check Modifications to the Original Idea by Returning to the Person who had the original idea

 There will be times when you may want to employ different strategic thinking on a core idea. Doing so will often times enhance the original idea, but not always. Also, you do not want to lose the loyal of the author of the idea. Always run modifications across the original author as soon as possible – let them plan a big role in the modification process.

5) Don’t Dwell Too Long After the Group reaches some sort of Agreement

Always remember to let agreement push you forward and a great way to do this is to end the meeting. If you keep pushing for complete agreement, then you run the huge risk of watching the agreement already accomplished unwind right before your eyes. When they begin to agree, then wrap up the meeting before buyer’s remorse sets in. This way, your next meeting begins with everyone already assuming the agreement is in place.


You will find that employing these 5 strategic thinking skills will be very effective in your next group or team project. And never underestimate the skills of understanding how to use strategic process planning steps.