Want to improve your strategic thinking skills?
What steps can you take to be more strategic in your current position?
This could be a tough question for most B2B marketers. However, the answer is to start by changing your mindset. Strategic thinking can and should happen at every level of the organization. Note that you will not get it in any part of your job descriptions.
Strategic thinking is the act of foreseeing the projected and then implementing it in our current environment. For B2B marketers, financial advisors or even accounts, this can be a difficult task; especially if you are busy with what is happening currently and you have minimum or no time to anticipate what is ahead of you.
As a B2B marketer, you need to have comprehensive skills to be successful. One of the important skills is the ability to think strategically. It is important to note that strategic thinking isn’t a skill that is only meant for senior managers or other leaders; every person in a company can think strategically.
Strategic thinking is a process that is evolving; one that links the past with what is happening currently and what to be expected in the future. To be a strategic thinker, you must think about opportunities and expect challenges.
With some techniques, any B2B marketer can become an excellent strategic thinker and hence become a professional B2B marketer. The good thing about a B2B marketer who is a strategic thinker is the ability to be flexible, and the ability to question and assess information.
Here are 6 ways to improve your strategic thinking skills.
1. Allow time for progress your strategic thinking
Many a time B2B marketers are faced with progressive challenges. This is caused by being too busy with everyday work which makes it hard to focus on a strategic direction. Addressing every day’s problem is crucial; however, it is good to set time to concentrate on what is expected so as to achieve progress. There are many things as a B2B marketer; you can do to allow time for progress: You should:
- Know that the time you spend for progress to occur is for the benefit of the organization.
- Work on tasks that need to be handled first and identify which can be done at a later time.
- Sit back and discover any anxiety that may be hindering your strategic thinking progress.
2. Allow yourself time to think and reflect
Allowing yourself time to think and reflect is beneficial. Being able to think strategically opens doors for B2B marketers to create connections between ideas, plans and people that are unnoticed by other B2B marketers. But if you don’t take your time to think and reflect, how do you create those connections?
It is worth noting that the best place you can do some strategic thinking and reflect is when you are not engaged in some tasks. Allow yourself some time to read every day be it in the morning or while during lunch hours. You could allocate time to read some blog posts on social media or read an inspiring book.
In simple terms, you should make the commitment to slow down and allow your mind take over some tasks on your behalf. Allocate a day in a week where you could spend the whole day thinking and this should be a routine. Note that the more habitually you do it the more you get used to it.
To be an effective B2B marketer, you must be ready to think long-term. Thinking strategically is thinking long-term. This gives you the ability to expect and prepare for any potential problem that will be triggered by your decisions. You must learn the hurdles and challenges that are in front of you. This is to help you to be able to position yourself thoughtfully and emotionally so that you can endure any problem that you encounter in your way.
Every bad experience that you encountered previously is imperative and helpful since it satisfies you. In fact, this can make you an excellent long-term thinker. After you are experienced and you have an understanding of innumerable perceptions, you will have a much superior understanding of what you need to do.
4. Be alert of the latest trends
To be a strategic thinker, you should always be alert of the latest and expected trends. You must understand the particular trends that are impacting your industry, the business, and the wider environment. Also, recognize those that work best for your target customers so that you are aware of what you need to implement going forward.
In terms of the wider environment, understand what’s happening economically, socially, politically, legally, technologically and demographically. Understanding the factors will help you to know how they might affect your position in your business and implement the most suitable for your business.
5. Ask questions on anything
Strategic thinkers not only do they ask questions but they ask hard questions about everything. Such questions that you as a B2B marketer should ask are: Are we aware of what we are striving to accomplish? Can we achieve without using social media? How can we think differently? Where do we want to see our business in the next five years? What about in ten years? Will we survive if we keep on doing what we have been doing?
Start to find out how you can be an excellent and more active strategic thinker. Taking your time to ask questions is allowing yourself some improvements.
6. Learn to listen
To be a successful strategic thinker, you must accept that your ideas may be imperfect and therefore allow yourself to listen more to people’s views. Every participant in your business is valuable and should be allowed time to voice their views. Learning to listen will make it easy for others to be heard and cultivate an environment where every participant contributes strategically as solid team. Use these tips to hone your listening skills:
- Avoid a biased mind
- Accept feedback from others
- Pay attention while others are voicing their views with a desire to learn new perceptions
- Assess what you hear and pinpoint the most valuable points you learned
As a B2B marketer, to improve your strategic thinking skills is no rocket science. If you focus on the matter and commit yourself to changing the way you perceive problems and the way you find solutions to the problems, your strategic thinking skills will start to improve.
Additionally, it is important to note that generating ideas or making superior decisions isn’t the actual value in strategic thinking. It’s about creating a framework that future-proofs your business, makes you a good B2B marketer and allows you the opportunity to achieve lasting success.
About the author
Jack White is quickly becoming a prolific article writer. With many years of experience working as the editor of Essays.ScholarAdvisor under his belt, many people are eager to see where his career takes him. Jack White says he is proud of the work he has done and is eager to continue helping people share their thoughts and life experiences. Follow him on Twitter.