Becoming a Better Strategic Thinker

Posted in Latest News on 21 Nov 2023

Strategic thinking is crucial for anyone looking to leap to a more senior, or even a partner level, position.

People are looking for a specific skill set to understand a business's needs, challenge conventional thinking with new ideas, and try to understand what might be coming on the horizon. However, people with excellent leadership potential are often passed over because they are seen as too tactical and not strategic enough. This is usually based purely on job titles, hunches, and cherry-picked observations. If you want to build on these skills and develop your strategic thinking, below are some tips!

One thing that you need to develop is your acumen. This is all about your ability to understand a situation, generate new ideas, and solve challenges to create new value – essentially, how you think about a problem. This has three critical components: context awareness, insight, and innovation.

  • Context awareness is about understanding your business's internal and external situations. Knowing this will help you better allocate resources to develop the company you work for.
  • Insight is about generating learnings from this awareness. A vital trait of this is continuously recording, categorising, and reflecting on this information. Sharing this is also key.
  • Innovation is acting on these insights. The newer the insights, the more likely your business is to innovate.

Another area to develop is your allocation and planning. The ability to set goals and recognise the risks and trade-offs you must make simultaneously is critical. Where you invest these resources is what is vital here. Again, there are three essential components to this area:

  • The ability to focus your resources, make trade-offs where needed and ensure that these resources align with your strategic intent.
  • Generating a range of possible alternative decisions, balancing the pros and cons of each.
  • Find a competitive advantage in these decisions and continuously evolve this decision to stay ahead of competitors.7

Finally, you need to put all this into action. Preparing and executing this strategy is crucial in moving from merely tactical to strategic leadership. The three things you need to bear in mind are:

  • Collaboration
  • Execution
  • Personal Performance

It’s important to bear all these things in mind when acting on your insights and plan. Without it, you won’t be able to complete your project and show off your skills.

These behaviours are crucial to becoming a more strategic thinker and developing the attributes you need to be seen as an effective leader and manager. While many of these things are hard to demonstrate in an interview in a few moments, developing these skills across your work will help you demonstrate you have the skills and potential to succeed.

Share this post