Your business, no matter the industry, is about problem-solving at its core. Your product or service answers a need; it solves a problem. Your company started because it saw a problem or need and wanted to fill that void.
You should approach every “problem” in your business with that same thinking. Strategic analysis is critical, though often skipped, step for every decision made in your business.
Don’t Go Straight to Execution
Misguided, many people jump straight into execution right after a discussion of a problem or scenario. But, it's vital to take a step back and look at the whole picture.
Strategic analysis is used to identify the complexity of a problem. It provides a whole-picture view into a web of what may otherwise appear as isolated issues.
To make strategic analysis a natural and ongoing state for your company, you'll need to foster analytical thinking into your workplace culture.
Put Your Analytical Thinking Cap On
Analytical thinking is a methodological process in which a person approaches problems or potential problems.
As a process, the first step is gathering information, then evaluating information. This evaluation is looking at every angle from cause and effect to cost-benefit analysis. And lastly, organizing information based on the evaluation, allowing better questions to be asked and problems to be solved.
When someone on your team thinks analytically, they're able to evaluate not only the information gathered but the questions being asked. This is important in performing strategic analysis because they're better able to see the right questions to ask and the right goals to make.
How to Encourage Analytical Thinking and Strategic Analysis
Like anything to do with developing your work culture, you've to start top-down. Modeling analytical thinking as part of your daily process will on its own encourage the same methodology in your employees.
Additionally, you'll want to place value on analytical skills. This means providing training and make sure your employees have access to good tracking software and are able to gather relevant data.
If you're not investing in information about your market or your business, then you're moving forward blindfolded. This sends a message to your employees that it doesn't matter what they do. No one's paying attention anyway!
It’s a Team Sport
A strategic team is one that makes a move on purpose. They've done analysis, looked at all the right questions and then moved with a plan in place to analysis the results of the action. The team runs on analytical thinking and makes or breaks your success.
Infuse your company culture with analytical thinking and make your business the person that takes action with purpose.