Strategic and analytical skills are very closely related in the 21st century business environment, where companies change strategies routinely and are constantly evolving, indicates Learning Tree International. Prioritizing work tasks to focus on critical success factors is vital to fulfilling strategic plans to help achieve company objectives.
Strong problem-solving skills serve as a major link between understanding strategy and applying analytical skills. Functional, department and project managers need to constantly review objectives and strategies to align their team's task priorities to achieve core objectives. As current tasks are finished, organizational priorities may have shifted, so managers need to review and apply problem-solving skills to analyze which of the remaining tasks to move onto next.
Closing linked to the ability to analyze and resolve problems are decision-making skills. Managers and leaders need to make quick decisions by analyzing current scenarios and sometimes instinctively deciding a course of action. Learning Tree International notes that top managers are able to make extremely impacting and well thought-out decisions under intense pressure and in situations where conditions are not ideal.
In its "What is Strategic Thinking?" guide, the Center for Applied Research makes the point that the best strategies and decisions are supported by real data. This strongly correlates with the popular 21st century business concept of business intelligence, or BI. BI is the premise that the best business decisions are made from careful analysis of customer and market data collected through a powerful database software application. Leaders with strong strategic and analytic skills greatly benefit from the ability to understand and interpret data for effective decision making.
Flexibility is sometimes construed as contrary to careful strategy and analysis, but CFAR notes that it is actually crucial to effective application of strategies to achieve company mission and goals. Leaders often have to make mistakes and analyze their errors and judgments to make choices that are even more effective going forward. Successful leaders make flexible maneuvers with efficient analysis, not with emotional or impromptu decision making.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.