The Bailey Group | May 8, 2012 | Blog | Leadership/Other | 2 minute read

“Enterprise Thinking”…new-age consulting lingo or an essential strategic concept?
Enterprise Thinking is the ability to think broadly across the business and organization in order to gain a big picture perspective.  It’s a pretty straightforward concept, but a skill many leaders lack; particularly those who tend to defer to their own area of specialty, which can lead to a narrow line of thinking.   

Why is Enterprise Thinking So Important?  
Most business problems and processes today are complex, requiring the input and expertise of various business functions across the organization.  No longer can leaders make decisions without considering the implications to other parts of the business.  All goals seem to require collaboration, matrix problem solving, and integrated solutions; hard to do without applying an Enterprise Thinking approach.

Enterprise Thinkers:
–Seek other perspectives
–Work to understand the entire system
–Pursue strategies/goals versus narrow tactics 
–Know that pushing one lever “here”, impacts another lever “there”
–Use broad business knowledge

By being knowledgeable and appreciative of other functions, enterprise thinkers reap ancillary benefits such as:
Credibility with diverse teams…and strategic partnerships result from these teams.
–Ability to influence others and navigate through tough situations.
–Capability of being strategically agile…their “total view” enables them to anticipate outcomes, adjust, and create contingency plans.   

What promotes Enterprise Thinking in organizations?
–Cross-functional projects where team members own a common goal and are not merely a functional representative
–Exposure to other jobs – opportunity to experience a full “day in the life”
–Learning about others stakeholder’s needs
–Aligned compensation and performance programs; if one is paid based on enterprise results, versus silo results, enterprise thinking will result.
–Grant promotions to enterprise thinkers; others will notice.
–Mix up teams; freshen and revive thinking by bringing in diverse backgrounds.  
–Regularly communicate results of the greater whole and contribution of the parts versus just the results of the sales team.

It doesn’t matter what you call it…Enterprise Thinking or Big Picture Thinking…just remember, thinking NARROW is OUT and WIDE is IN.  

Turn to The Bailey Group to help teams and individuals expand their view, 763-545-5997.