Thinking Without Action is not Strategic Thinking

Not thinker

Spending too much time thinking without taking action! That is definitely not strategic thinking.

“Strategic thinking is about prioritizing tasks and decisions and executing on them well. Unfortunately, too many business leaders often have the wrong idea about the concept.”

Strategic thinking is about managing what to do and, what not to do. Usually, it simply means deciding to move some initiatives to the back burner to concentrate the bulk of your resources in a single key area or issue. While productivity is about “getting things done”, strategic thinking is about “getting the right things done” and this, as well as possible. This implies and, most than often, requires that some things will necessary have to be left undone. Productivity is everything about volume while strategic thinking is anything and everything about excellence. Without appropriate strategic thinking, productivity is meaningless.

For a manager, “labeling” things that are important and not important is essentially and nearly an impossible task. Every project that people are working on, this project is somehow “important” to them. For every one of their promoters, in some vague way, these projects all add some kind of value to the enterprise. The strategic leaders must consciously table some important projects or ignore some important opportunities to focus on the relevant issue at hand. Being strategic is to be able to decide which project will contribute most to the company’s mission, and focus on that project. Completing “important” projects on a first-come, first-served basis is not what we call being strategic.

Yes indeed, strategic thinking is something of an incongruity, because the term is missing the most important part of the concept: “Strategic Action.” Strategic thinking involves that thinking always must be followed by a decision that can be executed. “Strategic Thinking” must always yield and lead to “Strategic Action.” In spite of the uncertainty, the complexity or even the ever-present possibility of failure, a strategic leader and thinker must eventually step up to the plate and make the call about what is to be or not to be focus on.


Michel Ouellette JMD [] is a Public Affairs & Communications Strategist, a miracle worker for entrepreneurs, executives and social innovators.


Get a Customer First!


Slow down: Get a customer first!

If you build it, they may not come.

While you are focusing all your resources on product development, looking for the perfect product or service, just remember that it is really hard to get a thousand customers without getting the first one. Your product or proposed service just does not matter, at least not at the level you think it must. Think thinking strategically and spend at least as much time on customer development as you do on your product or service development.

You want to succeed? You want to penetrate the market? Force the discipline of spending brain time on this issue. Bake customer development into your planning sessions. As a leader, make your actions speak loudly: “GO GET A CUSTOMER!” Get out of the office and go get a customer. Now that you have a customer, develop the perfect product or service for that customer and keep on doing the same thing for all the other customers to come.

Whatever you do, whatever service you provide, make finding your first fifty, your first one hundred customers your primary goal!


Michel Ouellette JMD [] is a Public Affairs & Communications Strategist, a miracle worker for entrepreneurs, executives and social innovators.


Trust, Personal Contacts and Relationships


Trust is everything

Being trusted and knowing whom to trust is the killer skill of life. No other attribute and ability so clearly delineates the difference between success and failure.

Today, trust is playing an increasingly pivotal role in all possible endeavors of humanity, either the business, personal or professional world. You want to make it! Do not do the right thing, the proper thing, and the ethical thing to be done only when someone is watching. Whatever you do, whatever you say, always do or say what is right to be done or said. Be proper and ethical in everything you say or do and above everything else, always make sure to never fudge the truth.

Always do the right things and do them right

When interacting with people, focus all of your attention on the other person; don’t peck away on a digital device. Turn off your phone and tell that person that you are meeting with: “I don’t want to be interrupted while we are talking.” Doing so distinguishes you from this ever-increasing mass of people who, without any kind of respect for their interlocutors, listen with one ear and either talk, or do anything else when they should be listening.

Learn to value true relationships

True relationships are everything! Learn to differentiate between people you can count on, people you can trust and people who only pretend to be reliable and trustworthy. Not everyone is worthy of your trust and not everyone is worthy of being one of your friends. Be trustworthy and reliable, deal only with the reliable and trustworthy and over and above everything else, avoid people who only pretend to be reliable and trustworthy.

You do not have to help or to be friend with everyone

If necessary, put your friend or wannabe friend to the test. There is a time in life where you have to decide who, without any expectation of getting something in return, is worthy to be your friend. There is a time in life, where you have to decide who you are willing to share with and confide in without having to fear, people that you can trust. Those are the only relationships that should matter to you. If you have no such relationships, it is about time to re-evaluate your life. There is no greater warning sign of danger ahead than to be utterly self-sufficient and self-absorbed.

Alone, you are not getting anywhere.


Michel Ouellette JMD [] is a Public Affairs & Communications Strategist, a miracle worker for entrepreneurs, executives and social innovators.