What Are the Different Strategic Management Skills?

Maggie Worth
Maggie Worth
Outstanding strategic managers have the ability to see the big picture as well as the details.
Outstanding strategic managers have the ability to see the big picture as well as the details.

Strategic management skills refer to the set of skills necessary to visualize and plan for a company's future. These skills are critical to the growth and development of a company, particularly in periods of transition or uncertainty. The term encompasses a broad range of skills that may vary slightly based on industry and geography. Core skills, however, include analysis, visualization, planning and leadership. It is also important for strategic management professionals to be objective and to have strong critical thinking skills.

Outstanding strategic managers have the unique ability to see not only the big picture and the details, but also to understand how all of the details work together to create the big picture. This allows them to alter the details in such a way as to create the particular big picture they want. This correlation between detail and pattern is at the heart of important strategic management skills.

Analysis also is one of the most critical strategic management skills. Good strategy requires the ability to accurately assess existing conditions honestly and objectively. This includes analyzing the company's current place in the market, its capabilities, the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, the opinions buyers hold of the company and the abilities of the people working for the company. It also includes evaluating market trends and buyer habits to determine what the marketplace is likely to look like in the future.

Visualization is the ability to look at the analysis results and determine all the things the company could do and all the ways the company's future could look. Combining the strategic management skills of analysis and visualization results in an ability not only to see the options, but also to determine which is right for the company based on its goals and opportunities. This allows the strategist to set a specific goal or set of goals.

Planning is the skill that allows a strategist to figure out how to get to the goal she has set. It involves figuring out what labor and capital needs will arise, what changes in process and procedure are necessary and what each labor unit needs to do to move the company forward. This stage of strategy often results in a written plan that can be shared with stakeholders.

Leadership is often overlooked when discussing important strategic management skills. Leadership allows the strategist to think about how she will communicate the company's vision, goals and plans to employees, vendors and customers. This strength allows her to take into account people's natural fear of change and find ways to motivate stakeholders to buy in to the corporate strategy.

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Discussion Comments


@bluedolphin-- Have you thought about taking a leadership or management workshop?

The job market is a tough one in 2014 -2015. There are a lot of very experienced people applying for jobs. So those with less experience are naturally not preferred. You are not the only one struggling.

But you can improve your skills by taking management workshops, or working in jobs that can help build these skills. You should also be reading up on the market regularly and following trends. Employers are more impressed with individuals who have a genuine interest and make the effort to be more knowledgeable about that sector.


@bluedolphin-- You may have never worked in this exact position in the past. But I'm sure you have some of the skills required to fulfill this position.

Have you ever been in a leadership position where you supervised other employees? Have you collected data, analyzed data and prepared reports and recommendations? Have you given input to your bosses about a project that made a difference and increased the success of an organization or company? Have you contributed to decision making in any capacity?

If you have done some of these, you definitely have skills to work in strategic management. You must emphasize these skills in your applications.


I've been applying to many jobs lately which call for strategic management skills. The strange part of this is that one can best gain these skills on the job, when they're given an opportunity. But all employers seem to want people who already have these skills. How can I become better at management and strategic management, if I'm never given a chance with it?

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    • Outstanding strategic managers have the ability to see the big picture as well as the details.
      By: Monkey Business
      Outstanding strategic managers have the ability to see the big picture as well as the details.