Strategic Thinking: A Skill that Supports Growth

As you may have noticed, my colleague Celine has posted a series of blogs recently on Strategic Thinking and Planning (missed them? You can catch up here, here, and here!). 

In Oct 2021, Adaptas launched the Skills for Growth programme. Check it out HERE, to find out more or register for the next programme kicking off January 2022. Designed to develop self-leadership through habit change, this programme was built from Celine’s books Our Learning Brain and Developing Learning Habits. We are now over half way through the 1st cohort and some of the comments include:



“This programme has helped me appreciate myself more and gain a deeper understanding of myself.”

“I love that this programme is so open, the people are great and there is no judgement.”

“Do this programme!” I’m already recommending to people. It’s helped me unblock my thoughts on certain things.”


So, what does strategic thinking and planning have to do with habit change and self-leadership? As it turns out, a whole lot. Read on to discover how becoming more strategic is the key to leading yourself to successful change. 


Strategic Thinking and Habit Change:

Strategic thinking happens when we pause to look at the big picture. It requires open-minded, expansive, outside the box thinking and demands that we consider that there might be a different, even better, way of doing things.  Very often, if we don’t pause to look up from the busy day to day bustle of our lives, we become hampered by the limiting belief that this is the only way things can be. Strategic thinking helps us start to build the belief that something different is possible. Strategic thinking gives us an opportunity to ask ourselves: what do I wish was different? It allows us to look at what is happening around us and expand our vision of what is possible. 


Let’s make this a little more tangible. 

Let’s say an imaginary person, Aoife, is really struggling with day to day overwhelm in her life. She feels she is just running every day from her home responsibilities (3 children under 10) to her work responsibilities (sales manager over 15 direct reports). The narrative that runs through her head is:

“There is never enough time, I can’t manage this, I am failing in all areas of my life, it’s impossible.”

If Aoife was to pause and think strategically, here is what could happen. Having realised that something needs to change, she might look around her for examples of how other people might be doing things differently. Through a bit of research and speaking to others, she might come across ideas such as time-boxing her schedule to get better control over distractions and her plan for her days and weeks. She might learn that other people in similar roles to her have built strong boundaries around communication with colleagues outside of work hours. She might come across the idea that scheduling in and fiercely protecting sixty minutes of personal time per week can give you the opportunity to ground yourself and maintain better emotional balance.

Aoife might start to build a vision of a different reality. She might still not know how to make that alternate reality real, but just by imagining it she is opening herself up to the idea that something different is possible. She has started to get clarity on what exactly she wants to work on changing. Now, instead of the vague goal of being less overwhelmed, she knows she specifically wants to work on:

  1. Implementing better planning and distraction management through trying a time-boxed scheduling approach. 

  2. Building clearer and stronger boundaries between work and personal life.

  3. Carving out and protecting sixty minutes of personal time each week to re-charge and ground herself. 

Next week we will look at how Aoife can build on this awareness with Strategic Planning to successfully lead herself to success with her habit change goals.

Thanks for reading!

Annika, Learning Programme Designer and Facilitator

Read more about Annika here.

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