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How Important Is Strategic Thinking For Your Business?

Jul 3, 2008
It is a proven fact that a simple idea is a lot more likely to get implemented than a complex one. This is especially true in the business world. Companies with thousands of employees struggle with this concept on a daily basis. Everything down to the smallest process takes thousands of hours of training and millions of dollars to get the whole team on the same page.

There is a famous quote from Thomas J. Watson that explains his opinions on the matter. He says I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity but I would give my right arm of the simplicity on the far side of complexity. He understood the need for simple solutions to complex problems.

The other side of the situation is employees that grad hold of the first simple strategy strictly because it is popular and easy to implement. It is very important to think out all sides of the problem. Many people get in the habit of acting too soon and not thinking about all possible outcomes. This can cost the company enormous amounts of time and money to go back and change processes.

There are many situations when companies have acted too soon and had to look further to resolve the problem. There is an example of a hospital in Utah that was having abnormal amount of injuries with their nursing staff. This was costing the business thousands of dollars in insurance fees and other expenses associated with the problem. After the hospital realized the situation, they invested a huge sum of money to do training courses on the proper way to lift heavy loads. They hoped this information would solve the issue. Even after the hospital spent all this time and money the back injuries continued to happen. The company realized they must have misdiagnosed the problem.

After a long investigation, they figured out the laundry shoot on the 2nd floor was too high. Nurses had been straining their backs from lifting the heavy loads into the shoot every day. The hospital went in and fixed the problem and the injuries sharply decreased. The hospital should have done more investigation into the problem the first time. It would have saved them a lot of money and prevented more people from getting hurt.

Strategic thinking can be very hard work. It is no question that it takes a deliberate effort to simplify something complex. This is the reason why most people are not problem solvers and usually implement the first thing that comes to mind. In our modern business word, companies are looking for people that can dissect complicated issues and come up the proper, long-lasting solution. These kinds of thinkers save companies money and add long term value to firm.
About the Author
CMOE assists companies improve their overall business model through strategic thinking and teamwork. Leadership training can help take your company to the next level.
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