How to Develop Strategic Thinking Skills in Business

Researchers show that strategic thinking is one of the most valuable assets of a leader. According to Samantha Howland, senior managing partner at Decision Strategies International, if you want to acquire such skills to become a better leader, you should develop your ability to anticipate, challenge, interpret, decide, align and learn. Dr. Carl Robinson, a business psychologist, suggests you should nurture your curiosity, flexibility, optimism, openness and self-expansion, and that you should focus on the future.

Broaden Your Horizons

You should develop your curiosity and gather as much information as possible about the industry of your profession. This information will help you to anticipate the different trends on the market and be ready for both threats and opportunities. Read up-to-date information related to business and your specific field on specialized websites and in magazines. With a broadened perspective will might come a clearer vision and identification of effective ways to achieve your objectives.

Be Flexible

When you encounter bottlenecks, don’t always go for a quick fix, some of which might have negative implications on a long-term basis. Instead, take your time to think of new approaches and solutions. Think out of the box and do not lose perspective of where you want to be. When forming your plan, consider the different scenarios that might result from your actions. Also, think of your challenges as opportunities and find ways to take advantage of them.

Think Ahead and Plan Accordingly

Being a good strategic thinker is similar to being a good chess player: You win the game if you can anticipate your opponent’s moves several steps ahead. Your strategic plans should include the steps that you believe are most necessary to get you to the top. Include them steps as milestones in your action plan, set deadlines to reach them and meet these deadlines as consistently as you can.

Learn Continuously

Welcome new ideas, perspectives, viewpoints, and feedback. Learn from other people’s experiences and your own successes and failures. Revisit your plans with any new learning experience and make changes whenever necessary without losing sight of your final destination. If you continuously expand your knowledge and experience, you will gain a competitive advantage over others by realizing constructive patterns and connections between abstract ideas and by stitching them together to make a new and comprehensive picture.

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About the Author

Based in Vancouver, B.C., Stella Vale discovered her passion for writing while studying for her Bachelor of Arts in English. She has an MBA and a Master in economics and is a PhD candidate in business. Vale is a proposal writer and owner of a college in Vancouver.