Taking time to think is something people often forget to do. But slowing down has its benefits.
This article from Inc.com, 6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers, came across in one of my LinkedIn newsletters and it caught my attention immediately. First off, what is a “true strategic thinker” (compared to the fakes out there) and, second, what do they do?
Well, a true strategic thinker is one who can adapt and thrive in a changing environment and apparently possesses the six habits in the article. I appreciate Paul Schoemaker’s list of six habits and the advice on how to “get good” at them. The habits on the list aren’t necessarily anything new or earth-shattering, but they’re thoughtful and realistic. So, here’s the Cliffs Notes version of what adaptive strategic thinkers do:
- Anticipate – Look for opportunities, not just ahead, but also around
- Think critically – Question everything so you aren’t just moving with the herd
- Interpret – Deal with ambiguity by taking in and processing information before making a decision; don’t jump on the quick fix
- Decide – Put processes into place so you can determine when you have enough information to go on to make a sound decision in a timely manner
- Align – Encourage open communication amongst stakeholders because not everyone will always agree
- Learn – Encourage and solicit honest feedback because critical feedback is key to growth
My takeaway from this article is strategic thinkers stop and take time to think. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in deadlines, emails and politics that we just act. We end up losing sight of bigger things around us. This article is a good reminder for me to stop and take stock of what I’m doing and what I’m here to do for our clients. We’re in the business to solve problems and simplify things. Doing this right requires time and thought.
What do you think of this list? Anything you would add?