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Thu, Oct 24


CHF 1850 | MQ Academy Zürich

Sharpening Strategic Thinking Skills (Foundational) - Zürich

The 2.5 days program sharpens the strategic skills of big-picture thinking, problem-solving, solution structuring, and communicating key messages to senior executives.

Sharpening Strategic Thinking Skills (Foundational) - Zürich
Sharpening Strategic Thinking Skills (Foundational) - Zürich

Time & Location

Oct 24, 2024, 8:30 AM GMT+2 – Oct 25, 2024, 6:00 PM GMT+2

CHF 1850 | MQ Academy Zürich, Schaffhauserstrasse 78, Room 108, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland


Objective: Strategic-Leadership for structured big-picture thinking to become a strategic partner to senior executives

Target: Mid-level Managers, Program Leads, Senior Consultants

Format: 2.5 days - 2 full days of training and a half-day of case study presentations. After two days of the program, participants will work in short groups on a case study.

According to an HBR study, around 97% of Senior Executives choose strategic skills as a key attribute. What does that even mean? The word strategy comes from the Greek word "strategos "meaning "to spread and lead. " In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was mostly used in the military context to deploy military means for a successful result. Even beyond the military context, strategic skills involve looking at the bigger picture, structuring different pieces of information, and determining the course of action.

Aided with tools like SCQ (Situation-Complication-Question), MECE (Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive), Pyramid Principle, and Logic trees, the program is based on the works of Barbara Minto from McKinsey. It takes the methodological approach of

  • Problem-solving by determining the right problem, structuring the solutions, and prioritizing the key actions.
  • Structuring Strategic projects that bridge vision with the desired results within a specific time frame
  • Strategic Communication by identifying the essential and eliminating the rest to be more productive, e.g., in time management and written communication
  • Storyboarding Strategic Presentations by developing a convincing storyline tailored to the audience utilizing purpose, plot, and slides


Day 1: Problem-Solving & Structuring Projects

Module 1: Solve Problems Methodically: 9.00-12:30

  • Determine the right problem: Most of the solutions fail because we don't spend enough time identifying the correct problem. Using tools like SCQ, we can determine the right issues we want to address and align them with our stakeholders.
  • Structure the solutions: Each problem can be solved using bottom-up data collection or top-down big picture thinking. We can incorporate both using tools like Pyramid Principle and Logic Trees.
  • Prioritize potential actions: Strategic skills are about identifying what to do and what not to do. Prioritization using tools like the impact-feasibility matrix supports in making the right move.


Module 2: Structure Strategic Projects: 14-17:30

  • Structuring Problem: Focus on the right question from the start is key to any successful project using e.g., SCQ approach
  • Structuring Process: Design the high-level approach and develop a strategic stakeholder map
  • Effective Tracking: Set up the effective project impact or status tracking mechanism


Case Study Overview: 17.30-18.00

Day 2: Strategic Communication & Storyboarding

Module 3: Strategic Communication: 9.00-12:30

  • Start with Why!: Explaining why a topic is relevant through connecting to a bigger picture and having a shared alignment. Often, leaders start with "How" rather than "Why" and lose an opportunity to make a deeper connection.
  • Message Pyramidically: Using Barbara Minto's Pyramid Principle, we learn to communicate key messages first backed by arguments and data


Module 4: Storyboard Strategic Presentations: 14.00-17:30

  • Identifying Purpose: Understanding the overall objective and sensing the audience provides the purpose of the presentation and defines the storyboard's starting point.
  • Building a Convincing Storyboard: Disney designed a logic of storyboarding in the 1930s for their animation pictures. Strategists are using the same logic worldwide to plot a storyboard for communication to senior management. It involves structuring key messages and providing logic and simplicity using e.g. Mickey Mouse Storyboard method.
  • Creating Meaningful Slides: Slide creation is like painting a blank canvas. Each slide has a 5-point acid test which decides whether it is a good or a bad slide.


Wrap-up: 17.30-18.00

Half Day (Case Study Presentations)

Case Study Presentations: 14.00-17:30

The modules are conducted in English and are limited to 20 participants to facilitate interactions and connections. Please note that other participants can join for specific modules of the program.

At the end of the program, you will be provided a "Foundational Strategic Thinking Certificate" by MQ Learning. MQ Learning is EduQua certified educational institute. EduQua is an accreditation body recognized and supported by the Swiss Confederate Government; it’s the first quality certification for public and private educational institutions in Switzerland. EduQua is the premier quality assurance body accreditation scheme for continuing education.


Benefits of the program include:

  1. Solving problems methodically using e.g., SCQ model and Pyramid Principal
  2. Storyboarding strategic presentations in a simple & structured way to become a strategic partner of senior management using e.g,, Mickey Mouse Storyboarding and MECE
  3. Communicating key messages succinctly
  4. Structuring strategic projects to link vision with delivery



"The program's modules are engaging and insightful. Participants learn frameworks and tools that strengthen their critical thinking, structured communication, and presentation skills. The ways I approach and solve problems, how I think about, address, and present solutions to different challenges have improved significantly through this program. I can now develop and implement more effective strategies." Manuela Kurkaa, Senior Expert, IDMC

"The training was pragmatic and engaging - a good mix of theory, examples and practice. The team could get concrete tips that they immediately start applying in their day-to-day work. MQ Learning's greatest asset was the experience that they brought in the training, from the doer of storyboards (as consultant) and be the recipient of storyboards (as an executive)." - Laetisia Johnson, Senior Director, Adidas

"I truly enjoyed the strategic project-management workshop with MQ Learning: It helped me to become more efficient in my everyday life and shed light on some of my blind spots. It was a pleasure and a privilege.” - Niniane Paeffgen, Managing Director, Swiss Digital Initiative.

"MQ Learning's workshops effortlessly bridge the gap between theory and practice. With empathy and insight from facilitator's wide experience, they demonstrated practical tools and ways to structure strategic projects, and had fun with it as well” - Mark Rowan, Data Scientist, Ex-VP Swiss Re.

Faculty: Deepak Bansal

Deepak aims to bring humanistic elements to our working life. He stands at the intersection of Business (MBA HSG Switzerland), Technology (MTech India), and Humanities (MA Philosophy California, Coach - CPCC, ACC). With 15 years in the corporate world, he has held Executive positions (COO, Director) in Consulting and Multinationals. He grew up in Strategic Consulting roles (from Consultant to Associate Partner) and has also led Learning & Development for a Strategic Consulting practice.

Please contact for more information


  • Sharpening Strategic Skills

    Foundational Strategic Thinking Certificate

    CHF 1,850.00


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