Have you ever come across any feedback that says you need to be a more strategic manager?
A lot of times, HR managers of leading firms tell candidates and employees to develop more strategic thinking. To increase the confusion, the explanation of the strategic thinking process is often cloudy. It is evident that you need to think out of the box but how is the problem.
In a study, 61% of participants reported that reducing the gap between daily implementation and strategy formulation is a major bottleneck in their working. In fact, adding to their misery, 95% of people don’t even understand the strategy of their organisation.
So, how can you become a more strategic manager? How to think strategically work?
Let’s find out.
What Is Strategic Thinking in Leadership?
Although it is believed that 85-90% of businesses fail to successfully implement their strategies, the organisations that succeed receive a lot of benefits.
A workforce that thinks strategically has satisfied customers, high performance, and increased ROI. In its raw sense, strategic thinking means focusing on long term goals and the organisation’s profitability. Leaders need to work in accordance with the company’s progress graph and strive to improve work efficiency, reduce inefficiency at work, and decrease costs of implementation. Overall, strategic leaders source every member of the workforce to work towards improving profitability and troubleshooting issues as soon as they arise.
For instance, sometimes, strategic leaders may have to work on a low budget project with fewer resources available. However, they are still expected to deliver the most.
Becoming a More Strategic Manager
It is believed that lack of strategic leadership can become a major barrier when implementing a strategy. This is why most organisations are now looking for people who can utilise strategic thinking in execution. Of course, it will help the company bridge the gap between planning and implementation to achieve its designated goals.
We have compiled a list of examples of strategic thinking that can enable you to become a more strategic manager. Let’s dive in and explore how to think strategically at work.
1. Analyse and Understand
Regularly analyse and evaluate the internal trends of your workplace. For instance, focus on problems that are getting raised on a regular basis. Then, connect with peers of the same industry and your organisation to get a detailed knowledge of external trends. Understanding these unique internal and external trends gives you valuable information that can be utilised in corporate strategy.
Further, to fully understand these trends, a strategic leader needs to analyse the meaning of strategy in their industry. Only then can you source all the study materials, psychological factors, economics, and laws to formulate a great plan. For instance, a leader in technology needs to gain knowledge of platforms, networks, and standards used along with technological knowledge.
Apart from considering all the internal and external factors, it is necessary to observe things from every angle. Increasing curiosity and evaluating every perspective can help you overcome your short-sightedness. You can approach problems from different directions and find solutions that are unique and innovative.
For example, while formulating a retention strategy, success factors in Year 1, 2, 3, and so on can be analysed. Then, you can see how different things impact and find out the signs of failure or success.
3. Add Value to Communication
Strategic leaders communicate. A lot.
All the leaders of the organisation need to sit together every week to discuss how certain things can be implemented. These meetings are necessary to identify problems and reduce bottlenecks.
You can achieve high-level communication by adding valuable points in your verbal or written interactions. You can start by brushing up on the issues you are going to discuss before diving into details.
While all this planning may seem enough, strategic leaders first need to manage their time such as blocking out unimportant meetings, follow-ups, etc. In simple words, you need to reduce the time spent on planning and embrace challenging situations.
5. Identify People’s Skills
One of the most important things that strategic leaders need to do is identify people’s skills and embrace and encourage them. You need to see what your team members don’t know and what they are really good at. Knowing both can help you challenge them in tasks they lack in, which will help your team with overall growth.
Don’t Resist Change
A strategy manager’s job description contains an acceptance of change as one of the main aspects. You need to execute tasks successfully to achieve desired outcomes. It is necessary to analyse when you need to encourage people, when to modify methods and process, and when it is time for a change.
If you also wish to lean strategic leadership skills, enrol yourself for Nulearn’s Strategic Management Certification for intricate business management skills.