What Is Strategic Mindset Competency?

Strategic mindset competency is the ability to anticipate and prepare for various outcomes that may or may not occur and eventualities that might unfold as you execute a strategic initiative.

The term strategic mindset competency may be used to describe one’s ability to think proactively and consider longer-term opportunities as well as challenges that might develop in the future. If an individual has the capacity and intellect to think strategically, chances are, the mindset has become a habit that begins to occur naturally to the individual without conscious effort or planning.

People who are inclined to think strategically often anticipate obstacles before they arise. This forethought enables them to craft effective solutions, avoid escalating challenges and risk, and create new value for the enterprise by exploiting opportunities or creating opportunities that lead to better results. Sounds pretty useful, doesn’t it? If you feel you currently you don’t have a strong strategic mindset competency, don’t worry: there are exercises you can do to develop this skill over time.

Importance of Having a Strategic Thinking Mindset

A strategic mindset can serve as an invaluable tool throughout many different areas of life, ranging from personal situations to workplace scenarios. Strategic mindset competency can prevent unnecessary stress, unpleasant surprises, and the negative consequences that often arise from a sheer lack of preparation.

A strategic thinker is always planning for the future, anticipating obstacles, preparing for possible adverse and positive outcomes. People who are future-oriented formulate creative solutions to a wide range of customer and consumer problems. This frame of mind will enable you to flourish in your personal endeavors as well as your work life. Essentially, strategic thinking helps you differentiate yourself and your services which ensures you will be relevant and contribute value to your organization.

How Do You Develop a Strategic Mindset?

You can develop a strategic mindset competency by engaging regularly in a variety of practices.

Strategic thinkers are often the ones who come up with unique ideas nobody else thought to suggest. How can you become that person if you don’t give your mind the chance to explore different possibilities, outcomes, and solutions?

The best way to develop strategic mindset competency is to simply give yourself time to just think. If you’re always in a rush, always on the go, always stressing over yesterday’s problems and issues, you’re robbing yourself of critical thinking time. It is critical that you look forward through the windshield as well as looking at the rearview mirrors. Set aside time each day to just think. Go on a walk, meditate, or write out your thoughts in a journal. After a while, this type of deep thinking will gradually become a natural habit that helps you effectively think through many aspects of your life.

Another way to strengthen your strategic thinking capability is to switch between different ways of thinking. For example, you can start reflecting or envisioning the future by thinking up new or bold ideas, switch to a more logical perspective to analyze your ideas, decisions or actions, switch to an emotional mindset and take your imagination to a whole new level, and so on.

This multi-mindset thinking doesn’t always come naturally. It may feel a bit unusual or uncomfortable at first, so lean into the discomfort and as you move out of your comfort zone. It’s essential to zoom in and out as you look at the future from every angle if you want to stand out and be a strategic thinker!

Skills for Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking requires a number of diverse skills that range from focus to mindfulness. You can develop a stronger strategic mindset competency by making a daily effort to improve upon this list of critical thinking skills.

  • Do some research, experiment and make some “probing” bets.
  • Step back and look at all the issues and factors that affect your work.
  • Use the logical and emotional parts of your brain.
  • Have enough focus to craft a fully-developed vision and plan of action.
  • Explain logic and rationale with clarity so that others may understand your strategic opportunities for improvement.
  • Break down big strategic projects into smaller manageable actions that work in concert to accomplish the major goal.
  • Possess acute attention to detail and weak signals and indicators.
  • Be willing to take smart risks and to learn new things, however intimidating they might seem.
  • Have confidence in voicing your unique, proactive and unconventional ideas.
  • Be able to identify and harvest information and insights.
  • Be capable of shifting from a “creative platform” when a scenario calls for logical and analytical thinking.