Strategic Thinking

Strategic Thinking

We can be active and extremely busy without creating movement for social change. As leaders, we all too often focus on tactics. We make plans in a vacuum, based on what we want to do, what we have the capacity to do, or what we did last year. We may achieve our intended outcome without ever coming close to what we could have achieved if only we had expanded our vision.

We can be active and extremely busy without

creating movement for social change.

In order to develop strategies that really make a greater impact, we need to think critically about the nature of the problems we are trying to solve—and the best opportunities for resolving them—in light of current conditions.

At Move to End Violence, we are committed to helping leaders hone this practice of strategic thinking; cultivating awareness and asking the right questions to ensure that we target the root cause of the problem; and focusing our time, energy and resources on strategies that will have the greatest impact.

Strategic Thinking: What Is It and How Do We Develop It?

We define strategic thinking as the practice of being open to multiple possibilities, anticipating impact and consequences, and making timely choices.

The Practice of Strategic Thinking: The practice of seeing, considering, and acting in ways that are: aware of and able to anticipate impact and consequences; open to multiple possibilities, and able to make timely choices.

Through workshops led by renowned faculty member, Norma Wong, as well as through ongoing exercises and practice, we work with Movement Makers to explore:

  • The stance and conditions required for strategic thinking and successful strategies;
  • The core qualities of strategic thinking;
  • An eight-step strategic thinking process;
  • Elements of resonance, rhythm, and critical mass in strategy;
  • Common non-strategic habits; and
  • Best practices related to expanding awareness.



  • A Question and Answer Series with Move to End Violence faculty Norma Wong delves more deeply into a few strategic thinking principles.
  • This Decision Map can help you think most strategically about the problems you are facing.
  • Move to End Violence offers regional strategic thinking workshops for Movement Makers and allies. Strategic Thinking Instructional Cards used in the training, along with select inspired poetry, are available for your use.

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