Skip to content
All posts

5 Top Tips to be an Effective Strategic Thinker

As a professional, have you ever found yourself stuck in a sticky situation that requires quick and effective strategic thinking to conjure up a plan in order to move forward?

Whether you are a lawyer, entrepreneur, civil engineer or professional in any field, having the ability to think strategically is indispensable due to its potential to improve employee performance - moulding you into a superior professional in your job area.

In this blog post, we'll cover what strategic thinking is, how to be a strategic thinker and 5 top tips to improve your strategic thinking skills.

Person playing chess to learn how to be an effective strategic thinker

What is Strategic Thinking?

In a nutshell, strategic thinking is all about asking yourself:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How are we going to get there?
  • And what does success look like?

Strategic thinking is all about focusing on the more general, overarching priorities in a situation instead of being bogged down with every individual detail.

So What is a Strategic Thinker?

A strategic thinker is someone who can calculate an effective way to achieve a goal or solve a problem by analysing their different variables, logical information, knowledge and resources to develop a clear path to an answer.

The Five Key Qualities of a Strategic Thinker:

  • Have a creative mindset - use it to come up with 'out-of-the-box' solutions or suggestions others may not have thought of
  • Willing to take calculated risks
  • Able to embrace new possibilities and challenges
  • Have a flexible attitude
  • Adapt quickly when goalposts change so that overall objectives are hit

Honing the skill to be strategic takes practice and perseverance, however, it will shape you from being average to an exceptional leader. So let's get going with some tips...

5 Top Tips to Be an Effective Strategic Thinker

1. Always think ahead

If you're looking to be as effective as possible in your career, it's always essential to think long-term. Having a long-term vision and effective strategic thinking goes hand in hand to prepare for any stressful situations within the workplace.

You must be able to understand the challenges that lie around the corner and start to prepare for any potential side effects. 

2. Save time to focus 

One of the biggest challenges in any organisation is not dedicating enough time to strategically progress. It's easier to focus on the day-to-day tasks instead of focusing on strategic direction.

3. Open your ears

Every member of your team is invaluable and should be heard. Developing your listening skills will encourage others to share thoughts whilst also creating a comfortable environment where everyone can contribute strategically as a team. Make sure to have an open mind and be open to feedback from all job levels. 

Further reading:

strategy & planning training courses cta button

4. Watch out for trends 

In order to become strategic, it's vital to gain a solid understanding of current trends. Schedule time to explore the internal trends that are raised day-to-day multiple times and incorporate the common obstacles that colleagues might be currently facing. Noting internal trends will allow you to implement a new strategic process.

5. Acknowledge, appreciate and award

Always acknowledge and publicly appreciate strategic thinking and actions. Remember to award members of staff who quickly create several solutions to a problem and establish the solution with the greatest long-term outcome. 

Feel free to share or download the infographic below to help your colleagues become more effective strategic thinkers. Just make sure you tag us on Twitter with #UMGTraining or @UModernGov or LinkedIn

Strategic Thinking 5 top tips

Improve Your Confidence and Ability to Think Strategically with our Expert Trainers

Understand the benefits of strategic analysis, learn the best way to implement an effective strategy in your organisation and learn to be confident in your ability to generate tangible results. Please read the full agenda for our Effective Strategic Thinking course and book your place here.

Chloe Martin
Content Editor

2+ years in SEO and content marketing. Striving to help public sector professionals develop their skills and learn something new through high-quality content.