Saturday, July 27, 2019
Strategic Thinking vs. Strategic Planning
In the view of F. Graetz, strategic thinking and planning are “distinct, but interrelated and complementary thought processes” that must sustain and support one another for effective strategic management. Graetz's model holds that the role of strategic thinking is "to seek innovation and imagine new and very different futures that may lead the company to redefine its core strategies and even its industry". Strategic planning's role is "to realise and to support strategies developed through the strategic thinking process and to integrate these back into the business".
Henry Mintzberg wrote in 1994 that strategic thinking is more about synthesis (i.e., "connecting the dots") than analysis (i.e., "finding the dots"). It is about "capturing what the manager learns from all sources (both the soft insights from his or her personal experiences and the experiences of others throughout the organization and the hard data from market research and the like) and then synthesizing that learning into a vision of the direction that the business should pursue."
Mintzberg argued that strategic thinking cannot be systematized and is the critical part of strategy formation, as opposed to strategic planning exercises. In his view, strategic planning happens around the strategy formation or strategic thinking activity, by providing inputs for the strategist to consider and providing plans for controlling the implementation of the strategy after it is formed.
According to Jeanne Liedtka, strategic thinking differs from strategic planning along the following dimensions of strategic management: