How to Increase Your Strategic Thinking

Prismatics Strategic Thinking

As executive coaches for the past 25 we have heard our clients say “I wish my key leader or my team would think more strategically.” When we would ask our clients what they think strategic thinking is and we would usually get a dictionary type definition. The dictionary type definition doesn’t really work for me as there is way more to it than that. So, let’s take a different look at strategic thinking and how you can become a better strategic thinker. I am also going to give you a comparison of strategic vs tactical thinking. As we have found in coaching numerous clients this helps drive home one’s ability to increase their strategic thinking capabilities.

Strategic thinking focuses on what might be and pursues discovery-type questions. To give you a comparison Tactical thinking focuses on what is and pursues action-type questions. Strategic thinkers are like detectives and want to determine why something happened and how can they create more value with the solution. Tactical thinkers are doers first and want to determine what result should be produced and to start an activity and action plan so as not to waste time.

You can improve your ability to think strategically by selecting your level of understanding/usage of the 12 statements below. Checkmark the level you are with each statement. Take those statements that are low to average and use those as items to practice improving your strategic thinking.

Strategic Thinking What might be:







Speaks and questions of how & why




Seeks stories / insights




Pieces together puzzle inferences-possibilities




Detective first, action second




Determines the right questions to ask




Disruptive challenging thinking, communicating




Interprets observations, clues,

bits & fragments




Uses what if, why not,

how, suppose, imagine




Assigns value to answers- thinking




Determine why are we doing this-thinking this




What’s it all about- How did it happen- Where is it going




Creates an insightful hypothetical map




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