Identifying Your Skills

6 Habits of Strategic Thinkers

Are you a strategic thinker? Or do you want to know what to do to develop your strategic thinking skills?

Then read on and discover 6 habits of people who think strategically.

1. Strategic thinkers anticipate

Most people will generally focus on what is directly ahead but strategic thinkers look for game changing information on the industry and utilise their wide external networks to seek out information and to confirm what they know.

2. Strategic thinkers think critically

Critical thinkers question everything.  They will reframe problems.  They will challenge current beliefs and mindsets and they will uncover biases that prohibit thinking more broadly.  Asking questions is not a sign of weakness.  Asking questions is the smartest thing you can do if you want to succeed.  Gaining knowledge by asking questions saves a lot of time than learning from scratch. Critical thinkers account for shades of grey when facing unknown circumstances and are open minded, willing to consider all aspects of a situation.

3. Strategic thinkers interpret

They are able to handle ambiguity.  For most people ambiguity is unsettling because we look for a fast and perhaps wrong conclusions.   Instead strategic thinkers look for patterns and question assumptions and they encourage others to do the same.

4. Decisions

Strategic thinkers will make a decision – there is no analysis by paralysis.

They are able to get to the core of the matter.  They have a balanced approach that combines speed with rigor and quality but they don’t seek perfection.  Perfection slows you down.

They will take a stand; make a decision even with incomplete information.

If you have 100% information – you have too much – if you have 10% information then you have too little.  Decide what is the right amount and make the call.

5. Strategic thinkers can achieve alignment

Strategic thinks know that total consensus is rare so they foster open dialogue.  They understand and seek out drivers (what is hidden) and bring the tough decisions to the front.  But they know how to assess risk tolerance.

6. Strategic thinkers are agile and like to learn

At the end of a process strategic thinkers will encourage honest and rigorous debriefs.  What went well, what didn’t work so well.  They are also agile and can shift course quickly if there is recognition that they are on the wrong path.