Strategic thinking is a characteristic of a person’s innate ability. Primarily, strategic thinking is related to the managerial skills of a particular individual. Additionally, the importance of this attribute increases with the increase in rank of an individual within a hierarchy. A person with the ability to strategically think about the various outcomes of a business policy prioritizes the importance of communication between the manager and the employees. It is the task of the manager to dictate clear and precise objectives to his workforce.
A strategic thinker always prioritizes the flow of information from one hierarchical level to another, as the failure of streamlined communication can cause various obstacles within a business organization.
The key behavioral indicators of a strategic thinker are:
- Ability to develop an in-depth analysis of an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, available resources, and work potential. A skilled manager with the trait of strategic thinking knows the possible difficulties that can arise in the work operations. To counter such scenarios, he/she will have the complete understanding of an organization’s strengths and weaknesses. A skilled manager will know what his organization can achieve and what cannot be achieved. The ability to differentiate between feasible and non-feasible goals is a characteristic of a strategic thinker.
- Ability to think on a broad spectrum, and to integrate unrelated facts and data to build on important business information. A manager must create a strategy by keeping in mind the objectives for the long–term future. In addition to that, he/she must possess the ability to segregate undifferentiated data and facts to build useful business intelligence.
- Ability to motivate the workforce by ensuring that day-to-day tasks doesn’t slow down the working of the individuals in a company. Many a times, repetitive tasks and monotonous work routine hampers the efficiency and work-rate of the employees. Hence, the manager must ensure work diversity by changing the work routine of the employees on a frequent basis.
- Ability to understand the effect of external market forces including customers, political system, environment, and competitors. An efficient manager must think strategically to devise a foolproof plan to withstand all the external market forces so that the internal working of a business organization can be smooth and streamlined.
- Ability to organize the work. It is the foremost attribute of an efficient manager. It includes systematic organization of the work by setting different milestones and targets, so that the workforce remains motivated and satisfied with their assigned work. Many a times, managers struggle to drive their workforce to achieve their targets within the stipulated time limit. It occurs mainly due to errors in the allocation of resources or poor organization. Hence, it is quintessential to divide complex tasks into small milestones, to make the workforce perform their operations at an optimum level.
- Ability to identify diverse patterns and connections among different scenarios. This factor helps in highlighting key factors in a situation that can solve a complex problem. An efficient manager must possess this attribute to drive a business organization through difficult or tricky situations.