The growth of a business is a product of a collaborative effort, so every member of your team matters for success. Therefore, teaching your employees the ways of strategic business thinking will boost your entire operation. This will improve their understanding of both the company and their personal role in it as well as boost productivity.
Managers and business owners can use a variety of methods to both teach and promote strategical business thinking.
1. Set Up a Mentorship Program
A mentor is a teacher who shares their personal experience in the subject. In this case, you’ll need to find people capable of strategic business thinking. Depending on the size of your business you may have the expert working directly with the team or with your managers, who will then fulfill the same role for their departments.
Note that mentors should interact with your employees both in the group and individual settings. One-on- one discussions are necessary to identify talents and develop a personalized approach to every team member.
2. Foster Self-Confidence Through Acceptance
Simply put, to promote strategic thinking and leadership qualities in employees, you have to increase their self-confidence and gain their trust. You can achieve this by applying the parenting principles of bringing up a self-confident child, which are acceptance and lack of judgment.
Every person has faults and assets, and you have to show your employees that you understand and accept their 'bad sides'. Instead of acting judgmental when someone makes a mistake or doesn't perform to your expectations, try to understand what prevented them from succeeding. Be calm and supportive when discussing the matter and find a solution that will take all factors into account.
This approach will foster trust and show your employees that they can share both their concerns and ideas. Acceptance boosts self-confidence, which improves a person’s productivity and efficiency.
3. Provide Rewards for Strategic Thinking
Show your appreciation for the effort, regardless of the result. Positive encouragement is essential for developing a habit, so if you want to promote an entrepreneurial attitude and strategic thinking, you must reward them.
Explain to your employees that they will gain something by providing you with the evidence of their thinking. This will encourage them to seek out situations where it can be applied. It'll also show you who in the team is willing to take the initiative and wants to work to advance.
4. Ask Leading Questions
To teach your employees to think strategically, you must make them analyze and see the ‘big picture'. Ask them for ideas but don't stop on this. Once they provide you with an idea or if you choose one to analyze as an example, ask why this particular idea works and how it will affect other departments of the company.
In essence, ‘strategic business thinking’ can be explained as an ability to understand every business action on a grander scale and predict reactions it will cause. One can only do this after analyzing every possible outcome, and asking critical questions, like ‘how?’, ‘why?’, and ‘what for?’ accomplishes that.
5. Keep Employees Informed
Information is the fuel of progress, so keep employees informed of everything about the business. Every worker must understand the situation your company is in and the state of the industry.
Provide easy access to information and organize regular training and seminars. Encourage employees to study industry-relevant publications and offer guidance on how to find additional materials.
Promote Strategic Thinking by Fostering Trust and Confidence
Teaching your employees how to think about business strategically will allow you to reveal their
personal talents and aptitudes. If you learn how to accept and appreciate their strengths, their
self-confidence will grow, and the overall productivity of your team will increase. Getting to
know your team on such a deep level will also help you come up with the best ways to realize
Melissa Burns is an entrepreneur with six years of experience in marketing and SEO. Burns began her career as an independent journalist, right after graduating from Iowa State University in 2008. Her favorite fields of research are startups, marketing, and IT--in particular, IT implementation in the sphere of education.