According to a Peter Walsh post in the Harvard Business blog, "Strategic thinking goes beyond looking at what is – it involves imagining what could be. It’s a fresh point of view on a market, a unique take on the future, or a capacity to imagine new answers to old problems."
So how do you know if you are a strategic thinker? According to Walsh, strategic thinkers differ from conventional thinkers because they are:
- Long-term focused
- Willing to Take Risks
- Able to Prioritize
- Life-Long Learners
If you do not possess all the characteristics of a strategic thinker you may want to consider evaluating and identifying gaps in your strategic thinking. You can also develop a plan to improve your strategic thinking skills, using the approaches that Walsh suggests in his blog post:
- Constantly question your own opinions
- Include people with diverse areas of expertise on your team
- Get out of the office
Some ideas to tackle these approaches include, always asking for other’s opinions on a situation and/or asking for feedback on a task/project. You can also surround yourself with people with different expertise than your own and don’t be afraid to seek their thoughts and advice to complement your own. And lastly, network – networking is a great way to meet people with diverse ideas, opinions, areas of expertise etc., exposing you to a wider variety of thinking skills.
Finally, remember that recruiters are struggling to find employees with strategic thinking skills, so make sure you find ways to articulate to potential employers through your resume and interview that you possess those skills.