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Strategic planning? Take a step back to look at the big picture

The best strategic thinkers have the knack of considering the potential impact of their actions far beyond their own team or unit, and you can do it too, says Harvard Business Review.

"Successful strategic thinkers always have perspective. They consider the potential impact of their actions on those beyond their team or unit.

Next time you need to make a big decision, here are three ways to make sure your thinking isn't too narrow:

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Explore the outcomes

With every idea, ask yourself, "If we implement this idea, how will other units and stakeholders be affected? What might be the long-term ramifications?"

Expand your range of alternatives

Gather ideas and concerns from everyone who has an interest in the decision or who will be affected by the outcome.

Consider the customer

Look at the decision through your customers' eyes. What will they think and which alternative will they prefer? If you're not sure, think about asking them."

Today's management tip was adapted from The Harvard ManageMentor Online Module: Strategic Thinking.

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