Strategic Thinking

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking is a way of understanding the fundamental drivers of a business and rigorously challenging conventional thinking about them, in conversation with others who can affect the direction of the company, in order to shape future opportunity and economic value.

Programme dates: September 7-8, 2017


The ability to understand and successfully respond to economic, technological and societal complexity requires business leaders and their organizations to think strategically. Strategic thinking is a mindset that defines the way in which business leaders think about, evaluate, and develop futures for themselves and their organization. Strategic thinking is an extremely effective and valuable capability for driving business growth. It can be applied in multiple decision domains that can be related to both business and professional development. Strategic thinking involves developing an entire set of critical skills.

Critical Competence #1: Strategic thinkers develop vision for their organization whilst paying close attention to peripheral threats and opportunities as well as understanding the nature of change in a strategic leadership perspective. They recognize internal and external signs to guide drive direction and realize opportunities for them and their organizations.

Critical Competence #2: Strategic thinkers have the ability to clearly define their organizations objectives and develop a strategic roadmap with each strategic objective broken down into clearly defined and measurable tactics and operational activities. Measuring performance is vital to successful strategic leadership.

Critical Competence #3: They possess discipline not just to develop strategic ideas but to lead organizations in the execution of the strategic roadmap exercising leadership competences that demonstrate a commitment to excellence. They seek advice from others and maintain an open relationship with their top management team. They may use a coach, a mentor, a peer advisory group or some other group that they can confide in and offer up ideas for feedback.


This program is designed for individuals in strategic management positions, including, but not limited to:

  • C-level Management and Business Owners
  • Board Members of Companies
  • Commercial Directors
  • Business Development Directors

The program is also useful for high potential managers and start-up owners looking to develop a strategic mindset in their approach to managing their business activities


Day 1: The Big Picture. Vision. Why Strategic Thinking Brings Success

Why do some companies achieve superior performance or avoid financial decline? Day 1 examines the role of strategic leadership and thinking in generating new business opportunities as well as identifying current and emerging threats to financial and business sustainability. We will examine numerous developments in strategic thinking including

  • Eco-system views of business strategy
  • Strategic innovation
  • Internal business venturing

We will use current case studies to examine examples of effective and less than effective strategic thinking and leadership. Both B2B and B2C contexts will be considered as well as new spaces such as C2C (peer-to-peer) platforms.

Day 2 – Strategic Change and Execution

Our second day will address two new areas of strategic thinking and management: dynamic capabilities and strategy execution. In the first half of the day we will look at how strategic thinking can be used to leverage change in industry, economy and global contexts. The second half of the day will consider one of the most difficult aspects of strategy – converting ideas into action. Strategy execution as a core capability is the key partner of strategic thinking.

(a) Dynamic Capabilities – Leading Strategic Change

With change in the business (and broader) environment occurring at a pace that far outstrips historical experience, conventional strategy models (SWOT, BCG etc.) may not be effective in driving change in organizations in the face of dynamic environments. Companies such as Nokia, Kodak and so on are examples of firms who struggled with the new more dynamic strategic context.

We will present the concept of dynamic capabilities as a key tool available to organizations and their leaders in leveraging change.

Functional areas we will consider include R&D & marketing.

Fundamentally, we will ask whether first mover advantage in such contexts is a guarantor of competitive advantage and industry leadership or whether we new tools and methods for thriving.

b) Strategy Execution

As organizations painfully recognize, an idea or strategy has little or no value without the capacity to convert it to real actions. Business surveys continuously identify that strategic failure is routed not in a bad idea but in sloppy, poorly led strategic execution. So how does strategic leadership relate to strategy execution? The final session in our workshop will focus on challenges and opportunities arising from strategy execution in numerous contexts: intra-organizational, inter- organizational as well as global. An emphasis on measurability and discipline will be made using current cases of execution success and failure. 


Dr. Yusaf H. Akbar is a Professor of Management at Central European University. A strategic thinker, educator and mentor to Executives and Start-ups alike, he is the founding partner of OnPoint Global an end to end consulting practice. He serves ont he Advisory Boards of several start-ups. His professional references include Citibank, Siemens, Telenor and Toyota. His scholarly work encompasses strategies for the Sharing Economy practices for which he was recently awarded a Senior Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study. He currently is active professionally across Europe, the Middle East and China. He is the Founding Editor of the International Journal of Emerging Markets and has a forthcoming book on Strategic Management in Emerging Markets


890 EUR + VAT Early bird fee (if paid by August 20)
990 EUR + VAT Standard fee

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For additional programme information
please contact:


Santa Zeidaka
EMBA & Executive Education Recruitment Co-ordinator
Phone: +371 67015824 / +371 29682525