Strategic Thinking to Win: Principles

The book Think to Win (on Amazon #ad) by: Butler. Manfredi, and Klein return the business leader to the critical thinking of plan and check before execution concepts taught in quality improvement using a slightly newer and more strategic framework.  In the book, the authors go beyond creative thinking to a method of thinking that propels a business forward in more than innovation.  The Think to Win (TTW) process revolves around five guiding principles as the framework. 

Think to Win - Guiding Principles
  1. Challenge assumptions.  Keep an open mind.  Do so by asking lots of questions and be ready to accept the need to change.
  2. Scope the issue.  It is essential to identify what you are undertaking and the framework you will be working under to get everyone working together in the same direction.
  3. Rely on facts and data because facts inform outcomes.  In other words, good decisions need to be based on analysis of data rather than emotions and unproved beliefs. 
  4. Focus on the vital few.   Do not try to fix everything at once, determine what changes can make the most impact on the bottom-line by reducing costs or increasing profits.  Consider flipping Pareto’s 80/20 rule into TTW’s 90/10 results/actions.
  5. Connect the dots.  Before jumping into solutions, check where there are linkages into other processes, departments, etc. so nothing gets overlocked or a new problem created.  

Guiding principles are important objectives in business and leadership.  Get the book above to see their recommended questions to ask yourself and your team when looking at new ways to improve your business.

In reading Think to Win, I was glad to see other management book authors besides me go back to defining principles that support their recommended process. Check back in a few weeks to see an outline of the TTW process.

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