The Five Attributes of Strategic Thinkers

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  • 0:03 Knowing Your Place in…
  • 1:31 Focusing on the Goal
  • 2:16 Understanding Events
  • 3:27 Asking the Right Questions
  • 4:10 Identifying Opportunities
  • 5:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

There are five key attributes that strategic thinkers use to manage their businesses. Use the steps and examples in this lesson to strengthen your own strategic thinking skills.

Knowing Your Place in the Market

Strategic thinkers have an advantage in the business world because they are able to use and analyze information effectively, make good decisions, and realize significant results. There are five attributes of strategic thinkers:

  • Understanding your place in the market
  • Focusing on the goal
  • Understanding past, present, and future events
  • Asking the right questions
  • Identifying opportunities

Let's start with finding your place in the market. Your company may be a big fish in a small market where little opportunity or growth potential exists. Conversely, your business may be a small fish in a big market where other companies dominate and the opportunities are limited. As a strategic thinker, you need to understand where you sit in the market and how to grow your position. This may include expanding into other markets or expanding your position in your existing market through the strategic use of resources.

For instance, say you own a food supply company that distributes to local restaurants. You learn that several large companies dominate 80% of the market. You want to meet with restaurant owners and offer your services to them. However, you must understand the services the other suppliers offer to create your unique place in the market. After researching the other companies, you find there is a lack of availability of organic and gluten-free products. Knowing that this aspect of the food market is growing, you determine your best option is to offer organic, naturally grown, and gluten-free products.

Focusing on the Goal

Strategic thinkers set goals; they create both short-term and long-term plans designed to grow and direct their businesses. Knowing where you're headed is critical when determining what needs to be done to achieve a goal. Take time to set clear, specific goals and then identify the strategies that will help your company accomplish them.

Say you want your food supply company to be the biggest independent distributor of organic and gluten-free products in your region. To achieve your ultimate goal, you research other similar distributors, identify farmers and food growers who can provide organic food, and create the marketing tools you need to support your message. By focusing on your goal, you can establish the long-term and short-term plans that will help you break down your overall objective into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Understanding Events

It's a wise and effective strategist who reviews past events to learn what worked well and what could have been done differently, while also understanding the present condition of the company. Past performance and present situation affect the future of a company. Without understanding its history and current conditions, it's impossible to make strategic decisions that will be achievable and successful for business.

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