How Strategic Thinking Can Make You a Better Manager

Management is one of those career areas that will always provide a challenge. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to remain in control of everything and everyone on your team, which just creates chaos. Whether you are a new manager or you are seasoned, the missing link that many managers struggle with is the ability to think strategically.

Why is this important? Because just like any other aspect of business, when people and skills are best utilized, the business will thrive. When not used well, or when the right skills are not present, the business will struggle. If you get this right, management becomes more focused and your efforts pay off.

Here are some other reasons how strategic thinking can support your goals of being a better manager.

People need to understand their part in the bigger picture

Engineers and other technically skilled people know how this works. This is because they are analytical thinkers who are project-oriented. Use this to become a more strategic thinking manager. Include your team in strategic planning and innovation – so they are part of the overall development of the business.

Anticipate industry changes and opportunities

As a leader, it’s up to you to always stay one step ahead of the game. This means being involved with industry groups and networking with those who are decision makers to anticipate the future. You may want to consider bringing some people on to your team who are well-connected too.

Staff for upcoming skill needs, not just present projects

Your people are the most critical aspects of business success, therefore as part of your thinking ahead approach you will also want to evaluate skills, training, and experience on your team. Fill in gaps with temporary engineering or technical support, from contractors and temporary employees. This can also work well for seasonal peaks in projects and future needs.

Be strategic with all managerial communications

Being a manager often means having tough conversations with executives and with team members. Use strategy in all your communications, both written and verbal. Speak clearly on topics that pertain to subordinates, be open to questions, and maintain focus on the goals of the company.

Make solid management decisions based on learning

As a manager, your best way of remaining strategic is to embrace the decisions you must make. To do this well, you should always be learning new things. Take advantage of manager training and networking to locate mentors in your field. Base decisions on sound business practices developed out of this knowledge.

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