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Strategic planning is a formal process of defining the requirements for delivering a high payoff - identifying what and how to get from current realities to future ones that add value. Strategic thinking is the action taken prior to strategic planning, prior to the development of those requirements. Strategic thinking is a distinctive management activity whose purpose is to discover novel, imaginative strategies that can rewrite the rules of the competitive game. Strategic thinking is not necessarily an innate skill nor is it pure serendipity. It's a mental process - arising from personal and managerial experience - that we must enhance as part of our professional development.