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How Can You Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills as a Finance Leader?

Strategic thinking involves long-term planning and implementation to benefit the company long-term. As a finance leader, this skill is essential because you track the metrics and understand the importance of data integrity. You also help ensure the completion of critical initiatives within the planned timelines.

As a result, you should be actively improving your strategic thinking skills to add more value to your company. These suggestions can help.

Implement these tips to improve your strategic thinking skills as a finance leader.

Understand Your Industry and Market Sector

Educate yourself and your team on the context in which your company operates:

  • Learn about your industry, competition, business drivers, customers’ purchasing behavior, and regulatory and legal landscapes.
  • Stay current with market trends, innovations, industry-related technology, and the changing macroeconomic environment.
  • Pay attention to how your company is positioned as compared to your competition.
  • If your competitors are growing faster, find out what they are doing differently or better than you, then take appropriate action.

Schedule Time for Strategic Thinking

Set aside time to focus on your company’s goals and the macroenvironment:

  • If you know how a current trend may impact the demand for your company’s products or services, share your thoughts with your network to determine what you may be missing.
  • Ask questions to gain additional perspectives regarding your idea.
  • Use what you learn to explore unknowns and uncover new opportunities.

Secure Buy-In for Your Ideas

Talk with senior management about your ideas:

  • Include your research and findings, the potential benefits for the company, and why stakeholders should implement your ideas.
  • Connect the business strategy to the numbers.
  • Communicate the strategy in a way that makes sense to the key stakeholders.
  • Work to gain support for the strategy.

Gain Stakeholder Confidence

Show the key stakeholders that your strategic thinking is broad, bold, and long-term:

  • Link the company’s challenges and opportunities to the strategic goals.
  • Use language that shows how the recommended action will impact the significant picture long-term.
  • Use numbers and data to back up your recommendations.
  • Encourage questions and constructive feedback.

Participate in Strategy Drafting

Take part in discussing, drafting, revising, and implementing your company’s strategy:

  • Focus on how your ideas and recommendations would improve employee engagement or help your customers or company win.
  • Actively listen to senior management’s perspectives.
  • Support implementation of the final decisions.

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