Directors and their homework: Developing strategic thought

Abstract
This paper makes the case for more systematic development of the strategic thinking, or 'meta thinking', competences of directors, as distinct from strategic planning. It reviews the historic development of the terms 'governance', 'directing' and 'learning'. It looks at the current political skewing towards board compliance through Codes, which are making the acquisition of strategic thinking skills more difficult, as well as the psychological blocks, both personal, and organisational which reinforce this. It proposes the development of regular and rigorous 'director's homework' using both the PPESTT analysis and the Learning Board model. It ends with proposing three ways of encouraging the development of director's strategic thinking the encouragement of the use of 'intelligent naivety', the development of divergent thinking styles, and the profiling of Thinking Intentions.
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