It’s easy to think of communications as purely a supportive role. We’re not usually the ones charting the course for our organizations. We’re not driving the business. So it’s easy to understand how we can become quite reactive to the work that is requested of us. However, it is incumbent on us to constantly question the “why” of our work, however responsive we are to the “what” and the “how”, in order to be able to provide strategic guidance, and maximum value, to those we are supporting.
Knowing where you want to go, and questioning the “why” of everything you do until the links between operational work and organizational priorities become clear, is the basis of strategic thinking. It is a thought process that should be baked into every one of your day-to-day activities. It should be routine. Like reflexively hitting CTRL+S on your PC, or CMD+S on your Mac.
Since I’m a visual person, I put together this graphic to remind me to frequently question the “why” of the work I plan to carry out, and to remember to constantly loop back to the very beginning – the organizational vision from which all work should follow.
The source material for this graphic comes from Peter Levesque’s Strategic Thinking course at the University of Ottawa. More information on Peter and his organization can be found on his website: The Institute for Knowledge Mobilization.