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Strategic Thinking for Senior Managers and Executives

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This session will give audience participants a clear look at how to think about crafting a strategy that builds a distinctive competitive advantage. The first part of the session looks at the four essential ingredients of strategy: clear mission and vision, choice of competitive strategy, economic basis of profit, and critical success factors. We then apply these ingredients to sharpen our understanding of 1) customers’ needs, 2) competitors’ moves, 3) attaining strategic alignment, 4) innovating for the future, and 5) preparing for disruption. A variety of individual and group exercises will encourage participants to actively use these frameworks in a way where they can actually apply their ideas in their workplaces too.

Time Allocation - Topics

20% How well do we understand our customers, existing and future?

  • Customer need for superior offering
  • Customer need for lower priced offering
  • Customer need for risk reduction

20% Who is the competition?

  • Who is better than us?
  • Who is faster than us?
  • Who is lower-cost than us?
  • Who is smarter than us?

20% What will be our competitive strategy?

  • Cost leadership
  • Superior quality
  • Fast response
  • Repeat business

20% What is the best way to grow the business?

20% What are some game-changers that could disrupt us?


Primary -- PLANNING/ORGANIZING: Problem Identification, Problem Definition, Analysis, Organizing Information, Evaluation of Alternative Solutions

Secondary -- EXECUTING/CONTROLLING/EVALUATING: Coordination, Decision-Making, Direction

Tertiary -- LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Creativeness, Initiative, Adaptability, Flexibility


Dr. David Lei is Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has taught classes on competitive strategy, strategic alliances, innovation, managing in high-technology industries and organization d...


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