Strategic thinking in turbulent times

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present a structural analysis of strategic thinking spectrum in turbulent times. Business excellence cannot be achieved without a well-defined strategic thinking spectrum able to elaborate and implement strategies in a fast changeable and unpredictable business environment. Strategic thinking means to think for a desirable future which can be ahead 4-5 years of the present time and to make decisions to the best of our knowledge for that unknown business environment. Thus, the research question is: How can we conceive the spectrum of strategic thinking such that we shall be able to deal with a complex and unknown future in achieving a competitive advantage? The methodology used to answer this question is based on metaphorical thinking, and multidimensional analysis. I shall consider four main dimensions: time, complexity, uncertainty, and novelty. On each of these dimensions I shall analyze the known thinking models and their attributes with respect to request formulated in the research question. Then, I shall choose those thinking models that correspond to the future characteristics and integrate them in a continuous spectrum. On each dimension I shall consider three basic thinking models. On the time dimension they are: inertial, dynamic and entropic thinking. On the complexity dimension they are: linear, nonlinear and systemic thinking. On the uncertainty dimension they are: deterministic, probabilistic and chaotic thinking. Finally, on the novelty dimension we have: template, intelligent and creative thinking. Considering all requirements for the unknown future, we conclude that strategic thinking spectrum should contain: entropic, nonlinear and systemic, probabilistic and chaotic, intelligent and creative thinking models. Such a spectrum increases the capacity of our understanding and as a consequence it enhances the capability of making adequate decisions in conditions of complexity and uncertainty.

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