This month one member of the SPS LinkedIn group asked a question central to strategy – what makes a successful strategist? The discussion provoked a variety of responses, including one member who thought that being a successful strategist “is all about selling ideas so that other people think they are their own. Working in strategy means you have influence but no power – success only comes from convincing others to act differently.”
Another member argued that a strategist needs to think both laterally and longitudinally and foresee the connections. “In business the same ability to foresee the potential outcomes of analysis makes for a good strategist. Henry Ford was a good strategist – he foresaw what the mass production of a ‘basic’ affordable motor car could do for (his) business and set out a business model to achieve success. The rest, as they say, is history.”
A multi-component definition was expounded by one member, who believes a strategist must possess analytic capability (to solve problems that are presented), foresight (to predict future problems) and influence (to communicate a strategic vision). “All of this is required of a strategist otherwise the person has a lesser role. Without influence, for example, they are merely an analyst.”
Why not join in the debate, with over 5,500 members of the SPS LinkedIn group.