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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

4 Ways to Demonstrate Strategic Thinking

Put simply: strategy is the ability to have a vision for the future. Being known as someone with that kind of vision is a crucial trait you need to be considered for a leadership position, because it's so essential in someone in charge of steering and directing a team. Think about it: having good strategy means a company can keep its competitive edge and set itself apart from the competition long into the future.

So how can you demonstrate and develop your strategic prowess? Here are my best tips.

Know the competitive landscape

Having direction starts by looking at a map. Do some competitive research into other companies in the field and broaden your mental map. What are your competitors doing? What qualities in their product or service makes them competitors in the first place?

Understanding what you're up against and being able to speak to the competition's products in meetings and presentations shows that you think big picture and can keep the industry as a whole in mind when you're working.

Find your company's pain points

Each organization is unique, which means every company will end up with unique problem points. Maybe your design process bottlenecks at the product level. Maybe communication between executives and managers is poor. Maybe high-level goals aren't being communicated to people doing the actual production. Whatever the issue is, know what intra-corporate issues your organization is facing and consciously try to address them in your work. Showing knowledge of corporate issues and thoughtfully trying to overcome them shows conscientiousness and big-picture thinking.

Think three to five years head

Look into the future and ask yourself: what would this look like if we kept doing the exact same thing for the next five years? What emerging trends do you think will impact the product going forward? I’m not asking you to be a psychic, but having some foresight into emerging tech that will disrupt the industry can show your superiors that you’re thinking ahead and deliberately trying to set your team up for success.

Share it with others

If you’ve done everything above, you should feel much more confident in your ability to think strategically, but if you want to get that seat at the table, you need to share your insight with other people. Reach out to your boss, your mentor, or someone in the company whose opinion you value and get some feedback. What do they think is coming in the next few years? Do they agree with the pain points you’ve identified? Have a meeting and kick around some ideas.

Strategy is a muscle, so flex it by sharing your ideas with people around you.

If you need a partner in identifying your strategic goals, click here to book a consultation with me.

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