How to Think Strategically and Apply Business Acumen with Greg Githens or Kandis Porter

Prework: 1.0 hour

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this training, learners will be able to: 

  • Describe how strategic thinking differs from operational thinking.
  • Practice and improve the microskills of strategic thinking.
  • Engage better with stakeholders to focus on essential resources and decisions that are critical to enterprise success.


Research shows that the next generation of leaders must be able to think strategically, understand their specific business model, and drive change. 

This training is for anyone who seeks to better understand competent strategic thinking and wants to better demonstrate that they understand the art of crafting good strategy and how it moves the needle in well-managed organizations. Because good strategy and competent strategic thinking are rare, those individuals who think and act differently are better able to recognize opportunity, show the value adds, and collaborate at higher levels. Past participants have found that that even a few behavioral changes have resulted in lasting career benefits.

The format stresses an interactive discussion of real-world examples and applications, including:

  • The four pillars and the four X-factors of strategic thinking
  • What good strategy is and is not (it's not goal setting and is seldom found in a strategic plan)
  • How to interpret weak signals in the strategic environment of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity)
  • How to identify and generate strategic insights
  • How to map a business model and how individuals and departments (for example, project management offices, HR, IT) contribute to the value proposition
  • Practical approaches to being more proactive
  • Tips for being an extraordinary leader of strategic change and “moving the needle”
  • The difference between strategic decisions and tactical decisions
  • Three fundamental activities of strategic thinking: sensing, sense making, and programming. Personal leadership is a choice to step into the leadership zone
  • Your personal development plan



    • How is the enterprise environment changing, and what are the implications for projects and talented people who want to advance their careers?
    • Since strategic thinking is the number one need of the next generation of leaders, what does it mean to be strategic and to think strategically?
    • What is my learning style? How might it enhance my ability to think strategically?  
    • If I am uncomfortable with ambiguity, how might I manage it?
    • What is good strategy and how might I tell if my project is aligned?
    • What are the microskills of strategic thinking?
    • What are the differences between strategy, goal setting, and planning?
    • What is an organizational value proposition and how do I develop a winner?
    • What is the difference between a strategic decision and a tactical decision?
    • How is strategic planning different from strategic thinking?
    • How do I design experiments to remove strategic uncertainty?
    • How do I recognize a VUCA environment?
    • When are best practices illegitimate and irrelevant to management?
    • Why do organizations become chaotic?
    • What are pockets of the future and why are they significant?
    • What are some real-world examples of good strategy?
    • What habits do I need to develop to make strategic thinking part of my daily practice?
    • What can I do to make myself more alert for opportunities?
    • How can I become more insightful?
    • What are some signals of impending disruption?
    • How can I effectively communicate a proactive vision to an organization stuck in the status quo?
    • What can I do to improve my personal branding to positively affect my career?
    • What is the role of strategic thinking in agile business innovation?
    • Why is it important to develop a personal perspective?

I walked away with some great topics, ideas and behaviors that I can focus on in my job both short-term and long-term.

Excellent real examples from business and individuals around ‘crafting’ a strategy and challenging the status quo.

Helped me think differently about how I approach work.

PDU Allocation Table

The table below displays the number of professional development units (PDUs) awarded for each PMI® credential, as they align to the PMI Talent Triangle®. Power Skills and Business Acumen PDUs apply evenly across all credentials and Ways of Working PDUs apply only to specific credentials. PDUs will be added in full to all eligible credentials. *Please note that the asterisked row below applies to the PMI® Agile Certification Journey and includes Disciplined Agile® Scrum Master (DASM), Disciplined Agile® Senior Scrum Master (DASSM), Disciplined Agile® Coach (DAC), and Disciplined Agile® Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC) certifications.
Ways of Working Power Skills Business Acumen Total
CAPM® / PMI-CP™ / PMP® / PgMP® 0 4 10 14.00
PMI-ACP® / Agile* 0 4 10 14.00
PMI-SP® 0 4 10 14.00
PMI-RMP® 0 4 10 14.00
PfMP® 0 4 10 14.00
PMI-PBA® 0 4 10 14.00
Ways of Working Power Skills Business Acument Talent Triangle



Gregory D. Githens PMP

Greg Githens’ mission is to upskill individuals to make positive impact by delivering useful ideas and new perspectives. His engaging enthusiastic style has earned him the reputation as one of PMI’s most popular speakers.

Greg is the author of How to Think Strategically: Sharpen Your Mind. Develop Your Competency. Contribute to Success. This highly rated book explains that strategic thinking is an individual competency composed of 20 microskills. Because strategic thinking is rare and valuable, those who demonstrate it have more value to their organizations and are more promotable.

Greg has been a featured speaker at PMI congresses, PMI chapters, The Management Roundtable, and elsewhere. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Bowling Green State University (USA) and a master’s degree from Miami University (USA).


Kandis Porter PMP

Kandis Porter is the founder and managing director of Effective Flow Connections (EFC), a management consulting company that helps transform organizations through project management, process improvement, change management, facilitation of key meetings, and training. Kandis also works one-on-one with clients, focusing on Leadership development and growth. In addition, Kandis is the co-author of the book "Good Decisions Equal Success." 

Kandis Porter has more than 20 years of experience managing people and large projects in both the government and private sectors. She has supported clients in various industries, to include the Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, utilities, medical device, health care, non-profit, and learning & development. Kandis has a master of science degree in project management (MSPM) from The George Washington University and master of business administration (MBA) in human resources. In addition, she is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMP Exam Prep Course instructor through Project Management Institute, Prosci Change Manager, and Six Sigma Green Belt. She is also certified as a Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Practitioner, Thomas-Kilmann Instrument (TKI) Practitioner, and is a Wiley Everything DiSC Workshop facilitator.

Before joining the consulting industry, Kandis proudly spent more than seven years on active duty in the United States Air Force and is passionate about giving back to veterans and their families. She is a former member of the Small Business Administration’s Advisory Committee on Veteran Business Affairs (ACVBA) and is on the board of directors for the Veterans Guest House in Reno, Nevada. Outside of work, she enjoys running, skiing, and spending time with her family.

Training Information

24 - 25 June 2024
2 Days


Member Price
(US$1385.00 before 13 May)
Nonmember Price
(US$1585.00 before 13 May)
Government Price
Student Price

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