Strategic thinking coaching is a targeted approach to developing an individual’s or team’s ability to think critically, creatively, and proactively about the future. The practice strives to enhance decision-making skills, foster innovation, and improve overall organizational performance. We offer an overview of how strategic thinking coaching typically works.

Initial Assessment:
The process often begins with an assessment of the individual’s or team’s current strategic thinking capabilities. It generally spans interviews, surveys, or exercises designed to evaluate skills such as long-term planning, systems thinking, and problem-solving.

Goal Setting:
Based on the initial assessment, the strategic thinking coaching provider (aka coach) and coachee(s) collaboratively set specific goals for improvement. Think developing better environmental scanning skills, enhancing decision-making processes, or improving the ability to generate innovative solutions, etc.

Customized Curriculum:
The best strategic thinking coaching leaders then develop a tailored curriculum that addresses the specific needs and goals of the coachee(s). The curriculum often includes a mix of theoretical concepts and practical applications.

One-on-One Sessions:
Regular one-on-one sessions form the core of the process. During these sessions, the coach introduces new concepts, provides feedback, and guides the coachee through various exercises and scenarios designed to strengthen strategy planning skills.

Group Workshops:
For team coaching, group workshops are often incorporated. Keynote speaker sessions allow for collaborative learning and the practice of training in a team context.

Real-World Application:
Coaches encourage the immediate application of learned concepts to real-world situations. That could mean working on current organizational challenges or developing strategic plans for upcoming initiatives.

Thinking Tools and Frameworks:
Strategic thinking coaching pros introduce various tools and frameworks, such as SWOT analysis, scenario planning, or the Blue Ocean Strategy. Coachees learn how to apply these tools to their specific contexts.

Reflection and Feedback:
Regular reflection is a crucial part of the process. Coaches provide constructive feedback and encourage self-reflection to deepen learning and foster continuous improvement.

Challenging Assumptions:
A major aspect of strategic thinking coaching is challenging existing assumptions and mental models. Coaches push coachees to question their current ways of thinking and explore alternative perspectives.

Developing Foresight:
Coaches help develop the ability to anticipate future trends and their potential impacts. Picture exercises in trend analysis, future scenario development, or strategic foresight techniques.

Measuring Progress:
Throughout the coaching process, progress is regularly assessed. We’re talking revisiting initial assessments, evaluating the outcomes of strategic decisions, or gathering feedback from colleagues.

Ongoing Support:
Top strategic thinking coaching engagements include provisions for ongoing support, allowing coachees to seek guidance as they apply their new skills in real-world situations.

Also be advised: The duration of strategic thinking coaching can vary widely from a few months to a year or more depending on the goals and needs of the individual or organization. The process is often iterative, with skills being continuously refined and expanded over time.

By focusing on developing these critical thinking and planning skills, practitioners equips leaders and teams with the tools they need to navigate complexity, drive innovation, and guide their organizations toward long-term success in an ever-changing business landscape.