When you think strategically, you consider the impact of your decisions and activities over time. You take a step back and assess how everything fits with everything else. This type of holistic, or big picture, thinking is almost constantly used by effective strategic thinkers. Big-picture thinking generates ideas and possibilities, stretching beyond short-term concerns or a parochial focus on one part of the organization. This course aims to help you develop this strategic thinking skill. It describes how the ideas of systems thinking can help you elevate your perspective, become skillful at making sense out of opposites and contradictions, and better understand cause and effect while managing your department. It also explains actions you can take to encourage big-picture thinking, such as aligning your department goals with those of the organization, considering how your actions and decisions affect a variety of stakeholders, and identifying and analyzing external factors. In addition, the course describes how understanding the organizational value chain can help you connect to the organization’s strategy and strategic plans and, in turn, implement them more effectively.