Strategic Business Thinking: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 What Is Strategic…
  • 0:38 Purpose
  • 1:17 Process
  • 3:08 Levels
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: LeRon Haire
During this lesson, we'll define the term 'strategic business thinking' and provide examples of the process. The lesson will also expound on each component that makes up strategic business thinking.

What Is Strategic Business Thinking?

The term 'strategic thinking' can be very broad but is narrowed once the term 'business' becomes a part of it. Strategic business thinking can best be defined as a planned set of activities and processes including innovation, strategic planning, and operational planning. These involve the ability to create functional business strategies designed to succeed. Before an organization can appropriately implement strategic business thinking, they must first understand the purpose and phases involved in the process. Let's take a closer look at each of these in more detail.


Strategic thinking within organizations has one primary purpose and that is to determine what the organization should be doing and why they are doing it. For example, let's assume that you are an employee at a children's hospital. Strategic business thinking helps to determine what the purpose of the business is, which in the case of a children's hospital, is to increase the health, well-being, and quality of life for children.

The 'why' of strategic thinking in this example, is the calling and duty of the hospital to make the lives of children better. Strategic thinking within an organization is important because it provides a unified framework to be followed to achieving its goals and objectives.


The process of integrating strategic business thinking starts with innovation. During this process, an organization decides to think outside of the box in order to examine all possible ways that future objectives can be implemented and met. Once ideas are conceived, they're implemented into a strategy which incorporates benchmarking. Benchmarking a term that describes how an organization is performing in relation to other successful businesses in the same industry.

The term strategic planning is best described as the part of the strategic business thinking that is concerned with the how and when a process is performed. Let's use the example concerning the children's hospital. The 'how' process will explain the daily routine and duties performed by the hospital, which will help it to meet its objectives. The 'when' describes the timing of those duties. By answering how and when in the strategic planning process, an organization is examining the efficiency of the planning.

The term operational planning connects the dots by providing specific details about the how and when of the strategic planning process. Operational planning is an important component because it takes the results of the strategic planning phase and uses it as a foundation to create a plan of action that helps the organization in meeting its goals.

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