Over the years of working in global environments with brands that impact consumers on a worldwide scale, I’ve learned that all great strategists share certain characteristics. Here are my top four:
- We are multifocal, which is kind of curious since in business we’re often challenging our teams to have greater focus. What I mean by “multifocal” is that we need to think big picture to be more strategic and we also need to be grounded and land ideas with simplicity.
- We ask the tough questions, which can help us see and think differently. Those questions could be: Do we have enough information to know the situation and understand the consumer experience? Do the outcomes we’re planning for support the broader goals of the organization? Do we need to revisit our plan, start over or try a different approach?
- We are on a relentless quest for more knowledge. We tend to be curious and inquisitive. We need to know what’s going on by observing and seeking trends – and learning beyond our personal interests by being exposed to different perspectives.
- We are communication geeks. We have a love of language. We know that what we’re saying needs to be quick to grasp and easy to remember so that our clients can easily relay our key points when they’re sharing our strategies and ideas.
I tell my teams that in doing our work, the best strategists think like a detective, listen like a good psychologist and write like a journalist.